House Speaker Paul Ryan, who hasn't been subtle about his disagreements with President-elect Donald Trump in the past, called business mogul's victory "the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime."
Ryan's praise came as Trump shocked major media, if not the nation, by cruising to victory on Nov. 8 despite almost every major poll putting him behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, and almost every major prediction model indicating a Clinton win.
Now Ryan, who has vacillated between embracing Trump and distancing himself from the businessman during a long and difficult campaign, said he's ready to put his differences aside and work with Trump during his presidency.
Ryan said he spoke with Trump on Nov. 8, after victory was in hand, "about the work ahead of us and the importance of bringing this country together," according to Politico.
Like others, Ryan said Trump had changed American politics and basic conceptions about the electorate by understanding American voters.
"Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected in ways with people that no one else did. He turned politics on his head," Ryan said, according to a transcript of his speech. “Now, Donald Trump will lead a unified Republican government, and we will work hand-in-hand on a positive agenda to tackle this country’s big challenges."
As Politico noted, it's not a guarantee that Ryan will retain his position as Speaker of the House. Ryan represents a more traditional wing of the Republican party, and was often at odds with Trump, particularly over the real estate mogul's language describing women.
Some have called for Trump to replace Ryan as Speaker, the magazine noted, but others expressed confidence that Ryan will remain in his post.
As for Ryan, he said he's moving forward under the assumption that he'll work with Trump, according to TIME.
“We had great conversations about how we’d work together on the transition,” Ryan said. “So yes, I am very excited about our ability to work together.”
With major victories in down-ballot races, the Republicans also control the House and Senate, creating an opening for the party to enact legislation that's long been on its agenda. Ryan also credited Trump for making those wins possible.
“Our House majority is bigger than expected. We won more seats than anyone expected — and much of that is thanks to Donald Trump,” he said. “Donald Trump provided a lot of coattails to get people over the finish line to maintain our strong House and Senate majorities.”
Acknowledging Clinton's call for the nation to come together, Ryan said he looks forward to heading "a bold, specific agenda" as Trump assumes office.
"We will honor the timeless principles that our country was founded on; liberty, freedom, free enterprise, consent of the governed," Ryan said. "And we will apply those principles to the problems of the day."