An audio recording from a House Republicans call shows Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) insisting he would never defend then-candidate Donald Trump. The audio was leaked Monday night by Breitbart, dubbed by its former leader Stephen Bannon the "platform of the alt-right."
The call took place on October 10, 2016, three days after a tape of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women was released. Breitbart has been critical of Ryan, particularly after unveiling the American Health Care Act, which it derisively refers to as "RyanCare."
LISTEN | Here's the audio.
I am not going to defend Donald Trump. Not now, not in the future.
Ryan insists in the call that despite his reservations regarding Trump, "the last thing I want to do is help Hillary Clinton get the presidency."
Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck told Breitbart after the audio surfaced, "The world is well aware of this history. And obviously a lot has happened since then." Buck added "of course" Ryan was referring to the "Access Hollywood" tape as indefensible, not Trump as a whole.
This leak comes amid brewing controversy within the Republican Party over the AHCA. Many conservatives have decried the law, saying it won't pass the Senate. A harsh review from the Congressional Budget Office has made the bill even less popular.
We are making great progress with healthcare. ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse. Republicans coming together to get job done!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2017
On Saturday, Trump insisted Republicans would unite over the bill.