Breitbart posts audio of Ryan saying he won’t defend Trump

Breitbart posts audio of Ryan saying he won’t defend Trump
© Greg Nash

The far-right news website Breitbart posted audio Monday night from an October conference call in which House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term MORE (R-Wis.) told fellow Republicans he’d never defend then-presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE again.

The call between Ryan and members of the House Republican Conference came shortly after “Access Hollywood” tapes of Trump making lewd comments about women became public, rocking the GOP ticket and prompting Republicans to call for Trump drop out.

“I am not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future,” Ryan says in the audio obtained by Breitbart News.

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The October call was for House Republican members, Breitbart said, and it’s unclear who was on the call and whether the participants knew they were being recorded.

“Look, you guys know I have real concerns with our nominee,” Ryan said on the call. “This is going to be a turbulent month. Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not. But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do. Personally, you need to decide what’s best for you. And you all know what’s best for you where you are.”

White House strategist Stephen Bannon was the former head of Breitbart, which has feuded with Ryan in the past, before taking over as chief executive of the Trump campaign.