The audio is part of a widely reported Oct. 10 call during which Ryan told House Republicans that they were free to distance themselves from Trump, with the election under a month away.
Ryan is heard in the audio saying he will never support Trump again.
“His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party’s principles and values. There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself as your speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future,” Ryan said. “As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year. And I’m not going to be campaigning with him over the next 30 days.”
Ryan then went on to say that although he no longer could support the Republican nominee for president, they should in no way take his comments to be an endorsement of Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
The timing of the audio release to the site, which used to be run by current White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, is curious, to say the least.
It’s been well known that Ryan told members of the House that they did not have to support Trump. But the audio of it, which makes it clear, comes just hours after the Congressional Budget Office released a damning report on Ryan’s Obamacare replacement, the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), saying it would result in 24 million Americans losing their health insurance.
Even before the CBO report, Democrats, Senate Republicans, and some House Republicans have condemned the ACHA as a flawed piece of legislation that fails to satisfy the needs of Americans on either end of the political spectrum.
It’s entirely possible that the Trump White House, which has curiously refused to put its name on this bill, is trying to further embarrass Ryan and distance itself from AHCA, especially as Congress is being attacked for the entire “repeal and replace movement.”