Ryan backs away from Trump's praise for Hussein
© Getty Images

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire Trump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world MORE pushed back on Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE’s praise of Saddam Hussein on Tuesday night, calling the late dictator “evil.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.”