A conference call with House Speaker Paul Ryan telling House Republicans that he would not defend then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump back on October 10, 2016, has surfaced (video below).
Breitbart News, which published the phone call, notes that Ryan made his comments soon after a controversial "Access Hollywood" tape of Trump making vulgar statements about women was released.
Ryan said in the call that he would focus on helping Republicans win their races so that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would not control the Congress if she won:
As for myself as your Speaker, I am not going to defend Donald Trump, not now, not in the future. 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. Look, you guys know I have real concerns with our nominee. I hope you appreciate that I’m doing what I think is best for you, the members, not what’s best for me.
So, I want to do what’s best for our members, and I think this is the right thing to do. I’m going to focus my time on campaigning for House Republicans. I talked to a bunch of you over the last 72 hours and here is basically my takeaway.
To everyone on this call, this is going to be a turbulent month. Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not.
But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do. Personally, you need to decide what’s best for you. And you all know what’s best for you where you are.
Ryan's conference call with Republicans was reported at the time by The Hill, which also noted Trump's angry tweets in response:
Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.
Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary.
They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win -- I will teach them!
In more Trump news, GQ reports that the president signed an executive order on March 13 entitled the "Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch."
The order reportedly says that if an upcoming review finds that federal agencies have shortcomings or redundancies, then the president can cut parts of those agencies, merge agencies or eliminate agencies.
GQ notes that Trump signed the order as members of his cabinet, who could be out of their jobs if their agencies don't make the grade, looked on.