By Jake Sherman
June 14, 2016
Speaker Paul Ryan is at odds with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump again.
The Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday that Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigrants runs counter to the nation's principles — a day after the presumptive GOP nominee reiterated his support for the idea.
"I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country's interest," Ryan said at a press conference at the Republican National Committee's headquarters on Capitol Hill. "I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country. And I think the smarter way to go in all respects is to have a security test, not a religious test."
Trump on Monday called for a ban on immigration from nations that have a history of terrorism.
Ryan took a much softer tone, saying that the United States is at war with radical Islam, not Muslims in general.
"Muslims are our partners," Ryan said.
Ryan’s rebuke of Trump on Tuesday is just the latest turn in his complicated relationship with the GOP’s presidential standard bearer. Previously, Ryan offered a more forceful condemnation when Trump first proposed to ban Muslims from entering the country in December.
Ryan held off endorsing Trump for nearly a month after the real estate mogul clinched the GOP nomination. When he gave his nod, Ryan argued that despite his differences with Trump, the real estate mogul is a better option than Hillary Clinton for Republicans who want conservative policies to be adopted. Ryan has also noted that Trump won the GOP nomination “fair and square.”
But even then, the speaker has continued to deliver a steady drumbeat of criticism for Trump’s most inflammatory remarks.
Just days after Ryan formally endorsed Trump, he sharply repudiated the presumptive nominee's attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Trump suggested that the Indiana-born Curiel, because of his Mexican heritage, was biased against him in a lawsuit accusing Trump University of fraud.
"Claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment," Ryan said after Trump reiterated his attacks on Curiel earlier in June. "If you say something that's wrong, I think the mature and responsible thing is to acknowledge it."
And it’s not just Ryan. Other congressional Republicans have grown tired of having to respond to the latest Trump news. Texas Sen. John Cornyn refused on Monday to answer questions about Trump's controversial remarks on the Orlando attacks. “There you go again, asking about Trump,” he said.
As the highest-ranking election Republican in the nation, Ryan has consistently urged Trump to refashion a campaign that continues to produce controversy and inflammatory rhetoric.
In the aftermath of the Curiel flap, Ryan told CBS Radio that he hopes Trump "learns a lesson" from the episode.
“Hopefully this is an inflection point," the speaker said. "Hopefully a lesson will be learned here.”
Ryan is set to preside over the Republican convention in Cleveland next month, when Trump will officially be crowned the GOP nominee.
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