Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed to reporters that he now has “full confidence” in Donald Trump.
Ryan, who expressed extreme skepticism about Trump during the presidential campaign, gave his full-throated endorsement of Trump during his weekly press briefing.
Ryan’s new confidence comes in the midst of an incredible series of scandals unfolding before the public, from Trump’s firing of the FBI director just a week ago in order to halt an investigation into Trump’s campaign, to Trump sharing Israel’s classified intelligence with Russia.
Ryan also effectively shrugged when asked about how he would exercise his constitutional role as the head of the House in providing oversight of Trump.
“I don’t worry about things that are outside of my control,” the speaker of the House said.
REPORTER: Mr. Speaker, do you still have full confidence in the president?
RYAN: I do.
During the presidential campaign, Ryan kept his distance from Trump.
Even after endorsing him, Ryan pushed back on Trump’s attack on the heritage of a Latino judge overseeing the lawsuit against Trump University, which Trump later settled. Ryan also opposed Trump’s plans for a Muslim ban and repeatedly described comments from Trump as “racist.”
After the tape of Trump bragging about sexual assault to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush emerged, Ryan canceled a campaign appearance with Trump, and decided not to campaign with him or defend him. He did not rescind his endorsement.
Yet now, in the midst of an unbelievable and unending series of scandals surrounding Trump and several of his former and current advisers, Ryan has flip-flopped from a tepid endorsement with a series of rebukes and caveats. Now, of all times, Ryan has at last pivoted to a state of “full confidence” just as support for Trump’s impeachmentreaches a new high.