Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, is once again at odds with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump over the business mogul's proposed Muslim travel ban. Ryan described the idea as antithetical to American values.
On June 14, Ryan told reporters he would not support a hypothetical President Trump barring all Muslims from entering the U.S., CNBC reports.
The House speaker had previously condemned the idea when it was first proposed,
“I stand by my remarks,” Ryan said. “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interests.”
Ryan added that he wanted Americans to understand the distinction between radical jihadists and the general Muslim population.
“This is a war with radical Islam, it is not a war with Islam,” Ryan said. “Muslims are our partners: The vast, vast majority of Muslims in this country and around the world are moderate, they’re peaceful, they’re tolerant.”
Ryan added that while he did want more comprehensive screenings of incoming migrants, he did not believe in a religious test.
“I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interests, I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party but as a country,” Ryan continued. “And I think the smarter way to go in all respects is to have a security test, and not a religious test.”
On June 13, Trump announced he would be doubling down on his proposed Muslim ban following the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida. The presumptive GOP nominee stated the executive powers of the presidency would allow him to block any race or creed he deems unacceptable from entering the country.
“When I’m elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats,” Trump said.
The 29-year-old shooter who gunned down 49 people in Orlando was born in New York.
Trump had first proposed a Muslim travel ban in December 2015, following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Ryan swiftly condemned the policy proposal and declared that it did not represent the Republican Party, CNN reports.
“This is not conservatism,” Ryan said. “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”
Several Republican lawmakers have expressed dismay that Trump has only intensified his call to enforce the ban. Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas voiced concern that Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims could help ISIS gain further support.
“I think you have to be a little careful with the rhetoric,” McCaul told Politico. “You don’t want to inflame or help the recruiting efforts.”
While the majority of Republican lawmakers continue to support Trump’s candidacy, the Republican National Committee was reportedly frustrated that he chose to push his Muslim ban in response to the Orlando shootings instead of merely expressing sympathies to the victims.
“Saying nothing would have been better,” said an anonymous RNC member. “Every Senate candidate will be forced to answer for Trump’s bizarre response ... His lack of empathy is jarring.”