Leadership

Ryan: Leaked audio of Trump criticism 'ancient history'

On 'The First 100 Days,' the House speaker says he is open to changes on the healthcare legislation

 

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told Fox News' "The First 100 Days" Tuesday that leaked audio of him criticizing President Trump during last year's presidential campaign was "ancient history."

"Look it’s no secret that ... the President and I had our ups and downs during the campaign, but we merged forces at the end of the campaign," Ryan told host Martha MacCallum. "This is such ancient history, I’m surprised it's even a story."

LEAKED AUDIO: PAUL RYAN SAYS HE'S 'NOT GOING TO DEFEND DONALD TRUMP'

During a conference call with House Republicans last Oct. 10, Ryan said, "I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future." Ryan was speaking after the release of a tape showing Trump making crude comments about women with "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush. 

The audio was published by Breitbart News Tuesday morning and has been seen by some as an attempt to undermine Ryan amid the ongoing debate over the House GOP's ObamaCare replacement bill. 

"So do you think people are trying to take you down? To put a chink in your armor during this healthcare battle?" MacCallum asked. 

"You know, I don’t even really give it much thought," Ryan said. "It’s just not part of my day job to worry about things like that."

Ryan also told MacCallum he was open to making changes to the health care bill — which has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans — but noted that such changes have to "make sure we hit the sweet spot."

"We don’t want to have some endless dragged out thing where we never get this done," the Speaker said. "It’s been 7 years [of ObamaCare], we've got to make good on our promises. We've got to make sure that we keep consensus so that we actually pass this bill."