Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan recounted that President Donald Trump told the Wisconsin Republican he was “disappointed” when Ryan informed him of his plans to resign.
“When you called President Trump, what’d he say?” host Chuck Todd asked Ryan during a segment of NBC’s “Meet the Press” that was broadcast Sunday.
“He was disappointed. But he understood. He understood,” Ryan said.
“I basically explained to him my whole family dynamic. The thing is, I feel content because I’ve actually gotten a lot done. And I’ve gotten much of what I came here to do done. Not everything, but much of what I wanted to do. And, you know, I feel like I’ve accomplished great things,” he added, according to The Hill.
Ryan, who is leaving Congress at the end of the year, had differences with Trump that began during the presidential campaign. On Sunday, though, he chose to avoid that aspect of their relationship.
“We have a good relationship. We’ve gotten a lot done together,” Ryan said.
Ryan did bristle at the notion that the current political climate could be labeled a victory of “Trumpism over Ryanism.”
“I just don’t see it like that,” Ryan said, noting that this past year was a victory for his positions on tax legislation and military spending.
Ryan hedged when asked whether he and Trump share the same vision for the Republican Party.
“I can’t speak to that. You’d have to ask him that,” Ryan said, according to Politico.
The House speaker also pointed out that the areas where he and Trump agree outnumber the areas where they differ.
“Nine out of 10 things we’re rolling in the same direction,” Ryan said. “No two people are going to agree on everything. We have different styles. We have different ideas. But it’s a big tent party. And we represent different corners of the tent.”
During the “Meet the Press” interview, Ryan said he doubts Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“First of all, I don’t think he should be fired,” Ryan reiterated. “I think he should be left to do his job, and I don’t think they’re really contemplating this. We’ve had plenty of conversations about this. It’s not in the president’s interest to do that. We have a rule of law system. No one is above that rule of law system.”
Ryan also side-stepped the rising controversy surrounding fired FBI Director James Comey, whose new book is highly critical of Trump.
“I’ve met him two or three times in two or three briefings. I don’t really know the guy. I’m not trying to be evasive. But what I don’t want to do is join some food fight, some book-selling food fight. I don’t see any value in that,” Ryan said.
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