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Ryan Won’t Comment On Trump Tweets

House Speaker To Make 2 Stops Friday In His Congressional District

Paul Ryan
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

During a stop Friday in Delavan, House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to criticize or defend President Donald Trump for what some called “threatening” remarks on Twitter.

The president tweeted that former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired earlier this week, had better hope there are no tapes of their conversations before Comey starts leaking information to the press.

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Ryan told reporters he’ll leave it to Trump to defend his own tweets.

“I can control my actions, my comments, and that’s why I think it’s important to just lead with example,” Ryan said during a stop in his southeastern Wisconsin congressional district. “And that’s why I tell kids each of us have our own obligation to conduct ourself how we see fit. I’m from Wisconsin, that’s how we act.”

Ryan said he and Trump talk all the time. Usually about policy, not about style.

The White House denies the president was threatening Comey.

Ryan also spoke to Badger High School students in Lake Geneva on Friday afternoon. He told the young people that he “tries not to look at Twitter too often these days.”

Trump has criticized Ryan, and many others, through tweets both as a candidate and as president.

Ryan told the students their generation can set a better tone in the country.

Protestors gathered outside Badger High School in Lake Geneva prior to House Speaker Paul Ryan appearing at the school on Friday, May 12, 2017. Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

About 40 people protested outside the school, criticizing Ryan on health care and the Speaker’s refusal to hold in-person town hall meetings.

One of the people protesting, Monica Goebel, said the health care repeal bill wouldn’t protect the public.

“From what I can tell, what Paul Ryan has done in the bill he just managed to push through, is to simply provide tax breaks to the wealthy, provide assistance to health insurance companies so they can compensate their executives more,” she said.

Goebel said Congress should instead create a single-payer health care system.

Ryan defended not holding any in-person town hall meetings recently in his congressional district, saying he doesn’t want his constituents to be harassed. Ryan said he has no opinion on Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, holding a town hall in Ryan’s district Friday.

Ryan has been busy making stops in his congressional district in recent weeks touting a Republican tax reform proposal.

On Saturday, Ryan is slated to speak at the Wisconsin Republican Convention in Wisconsin Dells.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 12 to include original reporting from WPR.

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