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Paul Ryan receives DOD Distinguished Public Service Award from Secretary Mattis

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats McCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments MORE (R-Wis.) received an award for distinguished public service on Thursday from Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisProgressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper Talk grows of Trump firings at Pentagon, CIA MORE.

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In a ceremony at the Pentagon, the retiring lawmaker was honored by Mattis for his support of the military ahead of his planned farewell speech to Congress next week. Ryan, who did not run for reelection this cycle, exits Congress next month.

In his address, the top House lawmaker touted the military's ability to work together as a cohesive unit amid bipartisan bickering on Capitol Hill.

"We see the huge fights over small things. Over there, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in other places, in the mountains, in the deserts, these men and women, many on multiple deployments, they collaborate in a common pursuit under a constant strain and all they want to talk about is the difference they are making," Ryan said.

Mattis made headlines this week when he issued a rare public statement Wednesday concurring with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE on his assessment of the Jamal Khashoggi killing, stating that there was "no smoking gun" found by U.S. intelligence that linked the slaying to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We have no smoking gun that the crown prince was involved. Not the intelligence community or anyone else. There is no smoking gun,” he said Wednesday in comments to reporters.

“We have not changed [our position] that accountability for the murder is our expectation, of everyone involved in the murder,” Mattis added at the time.