Paul Ryan: Trump 'messed up' on Charlottesville response

22 August, 2017, 07:05 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Image Speaker of the House Paul Ryan hosts press conference following a Republican caucus meeting

"I still firmly believe this hate exists only on the fringes", Ryan said.

The woman was a rabbi and longtime family friend of Ryan's, and she told the speaker she has seen an uptick in brazen public expressions of white supremacy and anti-semitism since Trump's election.

"I just think he needs to do better", Ryan said after the speech, "and I think he just did today". Ryan says the nation's leaders "have an obligation" to steer the country past "the passions of the moment".

Ryan said he was "pleased" with what he heard from Trump and that it represented a more comprehensive strategy than what had been in place under former President Barack Obama.

"We can't afford to allow that to happen again", Ryan said.

"The options are not pretty options", Mr. Ryan said, adding that he was not only concerned about Pyongyang's nuclear missile tests, but its potential ability to sell the weapons.

CNN extended invitations to people from Ryan's district and selected which questions will be asked.

Ryan was asked at a town hall Monday night broadcast nationwide on CNN whether the deal was worth it given that Wisconsin is poised to give the Taiwanese company $3 billion in taxpayer incentives to build the plant. Ryan helped in negotiations with the Taiwanese company and has joined with Trump and others in touting the news as transformational for Wisconsin's economy.

Censure, Ryan said, would be "the absolute worst thing to do", and offered no concrete steps for how he would hold Trump accountable for words or actions that implicitly or explicitly support white nationalism.

Democrats have criticized Mr. Ryan for going almost two years without holding a traditional town hall open to the public.

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