JANESVILLE, Wis. — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) addressed reporters here late Tuesday evening, following his landslide victory over businessman Paul Nehlen in a congressional primary that drew national attention.
When asked about Donald Trump’s remark earlier Tuesday that gun owners could take steps to stop Hillary Clinton’s agenda should the Democrat win the presidency, Ryan quickly interjected.
“Yeah, I’ve been a little busy today,” Ryan said, referencing his contest. “I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that.”
Ryan noted that he had not yet seen the clip. “I didn’t actually hear the comments, I only heard about those comments.”
Ryan was asked a follow-up question on the topic a few minutes later and reiterated that he “hasn’t even heard” or seen a video.
“I’m not going to make a comment more than I just did, other than what I heard,” he said.
When NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell offered to read Trump’s statement to Ryan, he declined.
“No, I don’t want to do it that way,” he said, with a slight chuckle. “I haven’t even read it. I’ve been pretty busy today.”
When asked about Republicans in the national security field who see Trump as “too dangerous” to be president and are defecting to Clinton, Ryan did not directly answer the question.
“I think it’s very clear that the Trump-Pence ticket is going to be one that will put good judges on the Supreme Court,” he said. “We will find far better receptivity of our agenda that we’re trying to get on track to fix this country’s problems than the Hillary Clinton administration. That much we know.”