Ryan backs away from Trump's praise for Hussein
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Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Ocasio-Cortez calls out Steve King, Liz Cheney amid controversy over concentration camp remarks Democrats talk up tax credits to counter Trump law MORE pushed back on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE’s praise of Saddam Hussein on Tuesday night, calling the late dictator “evil.”

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“He was one the 20th century’s most evil people,” Ryan said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” when asked about Trump's comment from earlier that night. “He was up there. He committed mass genocide against his own people using chemical weapons.”

Shortly before the interview aired, Trump gave a shout out to Saddam Hussein at a Raleigh, N.C., rally, praising the former Iraqi dictator's anti-terrorism tactics.

“Saddam Hussein was a bad guy,” Trump said. “But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over.”

“Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.”