White House: Trump would be ‘very unhappy’ if Speaker Ryan left

President Donald Trump told House Speaker Paul Ryan he would be “very unhappy” if the Wisconsin Republican retires after the 2018 elections, the White House said Thursday.

POLITICO reported earlier Thursday that Ryan has told his closest confidants that his current term as House speaker will be his last. POLITICO also noted that in three dozen interviews with lawmakers, aides, conservative intellectuals and lobbyists, not one believed Ryan would stay in Congress past 2018.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump had spoken to Ryan ahead of Thursday’s press briefing, within hours of POLITICO’s report being published.

“The president did speak to the speaker not too long ago and made sure that the speaker knew very clearly — and in no uncertain terms — that if that news was true, he was very unhappy with it,” Sanders said. “The speaker assured the president that those were not accurate reports and that they look forward to working together for a long time to come.”

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong dismissed POLITICO’s reporting as “pure speculation.”

“As the speaker himself said today, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” she said.

Asked whether the president was caught off guard by reports of Ryan eyeing the exits, Sanders suggested that Trump and Ryan were both surprised “because I don’t think it was very accurate reporting.”



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