WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that he continues to oppose a temporary ban on immigration for Muslims called for by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interests,” Ryan said during a press conference at Republican National Committee headquarters. “I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party but as a country, and I think a smarter way to go in all respects is a security test and not a religious test.”
In December, Ryan said that the call for a ban on Muslim immigration was “not conservatism.”
Ryan noted Tuesday that the House passed legislation in January that would bolster security screening for refugees entering the U.S. from Syria and Iraq, but not provide a religious test.
The Speaker’s remarks come one day after Trump doubled down on his call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants in the wake of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 50 dead and 53 wounded.
“When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats,” Trump said in remarks in New Hampshire. “We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer.”
Trump said the ban would be lifted “after a full, impartial and long overdue security assessment” and will be followed with a revised immigration policy.
Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old man born in New York, is the suspected shooter in the Orlando attack.
“The only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here,” Trump said Monday.
On Sunday, Ryan suggested on ABC’s ‘‘This Week’’ that he is open to potentially backtracking on the endorsement he gave Trump at the start of the month.
Tuesday is not the first time in recent days that the Speaker and Trump have been at odds.
Last Tuesday, Ryan blasted Trump for suggesting that an Indiana-born judge would not be able to render a fair verdict in the lawsuit over Trump University due to the judge’s “Mexican heritage.”
“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment,” Ryan said.
Ryan declined to return to the podium Tuesday in response to a shouted question on whether or not he still supported the Republican candidate.