Paul Ryan receives DOD Distinguished Public Service Award from Secretary Mattis

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIs Joe Biden finished? Krystal Ball previews fifth Democratic debate Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled MORE (R-Wis.) received an award for distinguished public service on Thursday from Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court Former Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy 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 TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates 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.