Ryan Praises Trump As High Energy, Says Border Wall Is ‘National Security Priority’

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan had nothing but praise for President Donald Trump and his policies Friday, saying he has “endless energy” and that the border wall is a “national security priority.”

Speaker Ryan said during an interview with the authors of Politico Playbook that he has met with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence more times in the past month than he met with former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in eight years. The Politico journalists tried several times to get Speaker Ryan to criticize the Trump administration, and the Wisconsin Republican wouldn’t bite.

President Trump and Ryan did not know each other personally before Trump took office, and Ryan said he has gotten to know Trump as being “sincere” and “very capable.” He said the president is “convinced he can be transformative,” and “never stops working.” Speaker Ryan also added that he thinks Vice President Pence will be a very consequential vice president in his time in office. The two worked together in Congress when Pence was a representative.

On policy, Ryan echoed many of President Trump’s stated priorities. He said that ISIS terrorists are “trying to infiltrate the refugee population,” and that “border security, military, health care and tax reform are the things that cannot slip.”

The House Speaker spoke extensively about the border and Trump’s proposal to get Mexico to pay for it. He said the border “will be tended to quickly” as it is a “national security priority.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer brought up a tax on imports as a way to get Mexico to reimburse U.S. taxpayers for the wall during a press gaggle Thursday.

Ryan said that this tax, known as a border adjustment tax, would allow the U.S. to “get revenues in from Mexico to pay for something, such as a wall.” Ryan also repeated a sentiment of Trump’s and said that this tax on exports would mean “there is no reason to leave this country as a manufacturer, no reason to outsource.”

He added that there are a medley of options to get Mexico to pay, and that Trump’s border wall promise will be kept.

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Alex Pfeiffer