Breitbart News published an audio of House Speaker Paul Ryan saying in October that he is “not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future.” The remarks were apparently made in a private conference call with fellow Republicans after the release of audio of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” segment in which Trump bragged about groping women. On the call, Ryan also said that Trump’s comments do not fit the GOP’s “principles and values.”
While Ryan’s remarks had been reported at the time, the actual audio had not emerged until now. In the audio of the conference call, Ryan appeared to express resignation that Hillary Clinton would soon be installed in the presidency. He told Republicans to “do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do.”
“But the last thing I want to do is to help Hillary Clinton get the presidency, and get Congress,” Ryan said. “Look, she’s a failed progressive. She’s running an abysmal campaign. I mean, it’s just — it’s amazing how easily she could be beaten.”
However, before November 8, Ryan was calling on Americans to elect Trump and produce a “unified Republican government.” After the election, in January, Ryan said that congressional Republicans were “on the same page as the White House.”
The timing of the audio’s release comes as Republicans appear to be split over the Republican alternative to Obamacare. Conservatives, centered around Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), are seeking a repeal while Republicans aligned with Ryan are backing what has come to be dubbed Ryancare.
Influential Fox News anchor Lou Dobbs tweeted on Tuesday a demand for Ryan's resignation.