Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Tuesday denounced a proposal by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to prevent Muslims from entering the United States.
Ryan condemned the remarks in a closed-door meeting with rank and file Republicans then told reporters afterward that he was making an “exception” to his policy of steering clear of presidential politics.
“Normally I do not comment on what is going on in the presidential election,” Ryan said.Trump’s plan, Ryan said, “is not conservatism. What he proposed yesterday is not what the party stands for and more importantly is not what the country stands for.”
Ryan said Muslims serve in Congress and are among our nation’s most important allies. Trump’s proposal would violate the constitution’s protection of religious freedom.
“The vast, vast, vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy and individual rights.”
Across the Capitol, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., steered clear of Trump during his opening remarks on the Senate floor, but Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to tie the party directly to Trump’s proposal.”
Donald Trump is standing on the platform of hate that the Republican Party built for him,” Reid said.
House Republicans leaving a weekly conference meeting mostly distanced themselves from Trump’s proposal.