Ryan: Trump's 'heart's in the right place' on race

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE said in an interview on Sunday that he thinks President Trump's "heart's in the right place" when it comes to race relations in the U.S.

During an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation," the Wisconsin Republican was asked how he would rate Trump's ability to bring the country together after saying a year ago that he hoped Trump would be inclusive.

"He's learning. I know his heart's in the right place," Ryan said.

Ryan said he's had some candid conversations with Trump and reiterated that the president's "heart's in the right place."

"I think what matters is that we have to show people that we are an inclusive society, that we want everyone to succeed," Ryan said.

"And I think there's more that all of us as leaders have got to do to be inclusive with people and make people feel like they're included in society. ... I think we've got ... a long ways to go, just as a society and a country for that."

Ryan was also asked about Trump's recent attacks on NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

"A lot of people who are protesting on that don't necessarily see is that other people see it as disrespecting the country, what it stands for, the flag and the people who died to protect it," Ryan said. "So I think clearly people have a right to express themselves in the first amendment however they want to."

But, he said, many people see the act of not standing during the national anthem as disrespecting "the idea of America."

"That we want to make this free country a more perfect union and that people have died and fought and survived to protect it," he said. "So they don't see the point that they're trying to make."

Trump spurred controversy last month when he attacked NFL players who kneel during the anthem.