Paul Ryan continues to oppose his party's nominee on whether to institute a ban on Muslim entering the country
Ryan told reporters Tuesday, "this is a war with radical Islam. It's not a war with Islam"
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Donald Trump are again on opposite sides of the debate over whether Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.
“I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. It’s not reflective of our principles not just as a party but as a country,” Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, criticizing the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s proposal, which Trump reiterated after the deadly massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida over the weekend.
The speaker stressed that there was an important distinction to be made in the fight against terror threats, saying, “This is a war with radical Islam. It’s not a war with Islam. Muslims are our partners.”
Ryan asserted that the focus should be on security risks, not targeting specific faiths. “Ultimately, we ought to have the tools where we have a security test, not a religious test, a security test, and we think that’s the preferred route to go.”
The speaker strongly denounced Trump’s proposal, which he first outlined in December, saying then, it was “not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.” He said Tuesday that he stood by those comments.
But pressed as he was walking away from the microphones if he stood by his support of Trump as the GOP presumptive nominee, Ryan ignored the question.
Asked later by CNN if Trump’s comments that apparently suggested Obama sympathizes with terrorists were appropriate, Ryan, who was rolling out the GOP’s regulatory reform plank, said he’s not going to get into the day to day discussion on the campaign trail.
As Ryan and other House Republicans spoke, anti-Trump protesters could be heard behind him.
“Racist, sexist not OK, Donald Trump go away,” they chanted, as well as: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
‘Beyond out of line’
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid ripped into the GOP nominee on the Senate floor Tuesday, saying he failed the most important test for a presidential candidate on how to handle a crisis.
“Donald Trump failed that test,” Reid said. “He proved he is not commander in chief material – underlined, underscored.”
In an effort to show the House GOP have their own anti-terror agenda, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced GOP leaders were changing the floor schedule this week and rolling a series of anti-terror measures that already passed into one package and voting on it this week. McCarthy stressed they hoped this would give momentum for the Senate to act.
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul also announced he was working on new legislation specifically focused on the Orlando attack.
Republicans in the Senate also reacted to comments Trump made suggesting that Obama was sympathetic to ISIS.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham called the comments “beyond out of line.”
“I think he has a world view that I don’t agree with in terms of how to deal with Radical Islam,” the former presidential hopeful told CNN. “I don’t think he’s sympathetic to their causes, I think he’s just made poor policy choices and I don’t know why anybody would suggest that another American was sympathetic to out to the cause of destroying Radical Islam because you disagree with their policies.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment when asked Tuesday, saying, “I’m not here to talk about the presidential candidate today.”