House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) gave a stern warning today at a press conference about the separation of powers that is established by the Constitution. Ryan told reporters, “We will lose our freedoms in this country, including all of the Bill of Rights, if we don’t robustly defend the separation of powers.” Ryan also responded to concerns about Donald Trump’s suggestions of acting independently as president to prevent certain types or classes of people from entering the United States. According to Article I, Section 8, clause 4 of the Constitution, Congress is entrusted with the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Ryan said that he would not, at this time, rescind his endorsement of Trump.
In a speech he gave in Atlanta last night, Trump rebuked Republican leaders such as Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who have sniped at Trump over his comments on immigration. To applause in Atlanta, Trump said, “Our leaders have to get a lot tougher, and be quiet. Just please be quiet.” Trump said, “Don’t talk. Please, be quiet. Just be quiet, to the leaders, because they have to get tougher, they have to get sharper, they have to get smarter, and we have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself.”
As to whether he would walk back his stated endorsement of Trump, Ryan demurred, saying “That’s not my plan. I don’t have a plan to do that.” When asked whether he may repudiate future statements by Trump, Ryan said “I don’t know,” Ryan said. When one reporter asked if he is bothered by having to repeat his repudiations of Trump, Ryan laughed: “He’s a different kind of candidate,” he said of Trump. “This is a different kind of year.” However, Ryan went on to say that “the last thing we want is a Democrat in the White House, like Hillary Clinton.”
A Washington Post reporter asked whether Ryan is confident that Trump will have “respect for separation of power.” Ryan answered, “You know you can’t make this up sometimes,” he said. Yesterday, Trump said he would bar Washington Post reporters from his events.
Speaker Ryan said that Republican leaders introduced today a plan to reduce the powers of the presidency, after years of GOP complaints that the Obama administration has over-stepped his authority through the use of executive powers and regulations to by-pass Congress. “I’ll just say we represent a separate, but equal, branch of government. We just spent the morning talking about how valuable the separation of powers is and how we’re trying to restore the entire principal of self-government of government-by-consent,” Ryan said.
Framing the conflict as a Constitutional matter, Ryan said “We will lose our freedoms in this country, including all of the Bill of Rights, if we don’t robustly defend the separation of powers, and we’re going to fight for those rights on behalf of our citizens so that we remain a self-governing people.”
Today, Trump is headed for Dallas in the company of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Tomorrow night, he will headline a rally in Houston.
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