Former House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) said it's “really clear” that President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE won the 2020 election, as fellow Republicans in his home state gear up for an audit of presidential ballots.
“It was not rigged. It was not stolen," Ryan told WISN 12 in a rare interview on Monday. "Donald Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election. It's really clear."
Ryan’s comments come as Trump and his GOP allies continue to falsely assert that the 2020 election was stolen due to widespread voter fraud.
Wisconsin Republicans are moving ahead with a forensic audit of the state's 2020 presidential ballots. Biden won the Badger State by roughly 20,700 votes over Trump.
A Wisconsin state Assembly committee voted on Monday to designate former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman as a special council to lead the audit.
Under the agreement, the Republican-controlled legislature can spend up to $680,000 on the probe, far more than the original contract called for.
Ahead of the vote, Wisconsin Gov. Tony EversTony EversTrump pushing ex-Rep. Duffy to run for Wisconsin governor Nonprofit founder launches bid to replace Rep. Kind in Wisconsin Wisconsin governor apologizes for indigenous boarding schools MORE (D) accused Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) of “drinking the Kool-Aid” after meeting with former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE.
“Things changed a bit when Robin Vos went down and visited Donald Trump and got that nice picture on the plane,” Evers said. “Apparently they’re all drinking the Kool-Aid. But I think it was really, really unfortunate."
Ryan told WISN that Trump “legitimately lost” the 2020 race, noting that all of his legal challenges of the election results were thrown out in court.
“He exhausted the court challenges," Ryan said. "None of them went his way, so he legitimately lost. Is there mischief, organized shenanigans in elections? Sure. Is there fraud? Yes. Was it organized to the extent that it would have swung the Electoral College and the presidential election? Absolutely not.”
Ryan also offered a broader criticism of Trump's control over the GOP, saying, "I think we'll just keep losing if we wrap ourselves around one person. We have not lost this much this fast in a long, long time."
However, the former Speaker, who is currently a guest lecturer in political science and economics at Notre Dame, said he had no immediate plans to return to politics.
"Who knows what the future holds down the road, but nothing in the near future, that's for sure," Ryan said.