The far-right news website Breitbart posted Monday night audio from an October conference call in which House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow Republicans he’d never defend Donald Trump again.
The call between Ryan and members of the House GOP conference came shortly after “Access Hollywood” tapes of Trump making lewd comments about women became public, rocking the GOP ticket and prompting Republicans to call for Trump leave the ticket.
“I am not going to defend Donald Trump-not now, not in the future,” Ryan says in the audio obtained by Breitbart News.
The October call was for House Republican members, Breitbart said, and it’s unclear who was on the call and whether the participants knew they were being recorded.
“Look, you guys know I have real concerns with our nominee,” Ryan said on the call. “… This is going to be a turbulent month. Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not. But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do. Personally, you need to decide what’s best for you. And you all know what’s best for you where you are.”
Key Trump adviser Stephen Bannon is the former head of Breitbart, which has feuded with Ryan in the past.