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Ryan discovers Jewish heritage on PBS show

Ryan discovers Jewish heritage on PBS show
© Anna Moneymaker

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) was surprised and “proud” to learn that he has Jewish ancestry on an upcoming episode of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots,” according to the show's host.

In the episode, which has filmed but has yet to air, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. reveals to the Republican House leader that about 3 percent of his DNA is Ashkenazi Jewish. Gates said he traced the Jewish ancestry back to 1531.

He said Ryan was shocked and “very proud” to learn of his previously unknown family member, according to The Associated Press.

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"You could have knocked him over with a feather and then he was very proud of it," Gates said of the Speaker's reaction. “We don't know who that Jewish person was, but we know it was on his mother's German line, which makes sense. So somebody who was a Christian German slept with a Jewish German person and that's where that came from.”

Gates said at a meeting of TV critics on Tuesday that Ryan's ancestry, as well as the ancestry of two other lawmakers, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Rubio signals opposition to Biden Cabinet picks Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSix people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year MORE (D-Hawaii), would be explored in the upcoming season.

“We're all immigrants. We're all mixed up,” Gates told critics, according to the AP. “When the lights came down, everybody was sleeping with everyone else.”

The Speaker's office would not share any other details from the upcoming episode, instead urging viewers to “tune in!” in an emailed response to the report.

On last year's season of the hit PBS show, Gates revealed to Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members MORE (I) that one of his relatives died fighting Nazis in occupied Europe during World War II.

“I’m proud of his courage, and willingly going to his own death in order to protect innocent people,” Sanders says tearfully in the video released last year. “So I’m very, very proud that I have a family member who showed that type of courage and decency.”

--Updated at 10:21 a.m.