On Monday night — the eve of a big meeting between House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump about Trumpcare — Breitbart has strategically chosen to to release audio of comments that Ryan made last October while feeling disgusted over Donald Trump’s lewd hot-mic tape. At the time, news of the Congressional conference call only leaked through written reports that detailed how Ryan was washing his hands of the Republican nominee, and he urged his colleagues to follow the path that was right for them.
In other words, Ryan had given up all hope for White House victory and wanted to focus on salvaging the House majority while prepping for the possibility of President Hillary Clinton. Ryan was feeling beleaguered and betrayed. He’d managed to look past Trump’s theatrics and xenophobia to endorse him, but he couldn’t stomach the “grab them by the p***y” stuff. That’s embarrassing! The mortified Ryan lashed out while vowing to never, ever defend Trump:
“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. 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….”
At that point, Ryan’s comments continue as previously reported. While toeing a very careful line, he expressed hope for House members to extricate themselves from the Trump taint — “do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do” — and the tape paints a portrait of a desperate politician. Of course, we all know what happened on election night, and by then, Ryan had recovered from the Access Hollywood shame.
Oh, but this isn’t over yet. Breitbart is stirring up some high drama.
The right-wing site’s release of the audio arrived with comments from Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck, who tried to downplay the conflict as a passing one. “The world is well aware of this history,” Buck stated. “And obviously a lot has happened since then. As everyone knows.” Well, Buck is correct. News of this conversation already surfaced, and Ryan very publicly disinvited Trump to a rally (while claiming to be “sickened”). The two men eventually became begrudging allies, and the dumpster-firing continues.
So, people forget, but Breitbert has decided to grind their existing Paul Ryan axe by dropping this audio during backlash over the Trumpcare bill. The GOP plan will, according to the the CBO and the White House, potentially cause 26 million people to lose healthcare coverage. Trumpcare is almost “universally hated,” and even Trump doesn’t want to use the Trumpcare label. However, Ryan remains a huge Trumpcare fan, and he and the president are meeting to discuss Trumpcare today … the night after Breitbart dropped this audio. Breitbart wants this bill killed, and they quote an anonymous senior Republican Senate aide for their cause:
“We have gotten a signal from the White House that the bill might be completely pulled and a more transparent and inclusive process could start as early as next week. House leadership misled the White House on how popular this bill would be with conservatives.”
Another aide chimed in to stress that “the bill as is cannot pass,” so this audio release is definitely Breitbart’s contribution to torpedoing Trumpcare as we know it. The resulting fireworks should be a blast.