Paul Ryan laughed during his Thursday press briefing when asked about Donald Trump’s demand he made Wednesday that GOP leaders who’ve been critical of Trump “be quiet.”
“You can’t make this up sometimes,” the Republican House Speaker said. “We represent a separate but equal branch of government.”
In his initial endorsement of Trump earlier this month, Ryan said Trump made it clear to him he respected the separation of powers between the three branches of the federal government and backed policy supported by Ryan that would make those separations clearer.
But that was not the tone Trump struck on Wednesday when he hinted at an Atlanta rally that he may take unilateral action if GOP leaders refuse to “get tougher” and stop criticizing him.
“Be quiet,” he said, speaking about Republican leadership. “Just please be quiet. Don’t talk. Please be quiet. Just be quiet … because they have to get tougher, they have to get sharper, they have to get smarter. We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself.”
Ryan said Thursday he intended to “defend the separation of powers,” arguing that US citizens would “lose our freedoms” if one branch infringed on another branch’s powers.
Watch Ryan’s answer below:
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) June16, 2016