House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) shied away Sunday morning from some of Donald Trump’s most far-reaching campaign proposals, including promises to deport undocumented immigrants and impose severe tariffs.
Speaking on CNN, Ryan dismissed a video clip of Trump promising last year to implement a “deportation force” to send undocumented immigrants “back where they came.”
“I think we should put people’s minds at ease,” Ryan said. “That is not what our focus is. We’re focused on securing the border. We think that’s first and foremost, before we get into any other immigration issue, we’ve got to know who’s coming and going in the country ... we are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump’s not planning on that.”
Trump, however, says he’s committed to seeking the immediate deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, which would be the largest-scale deportation effort in recent history.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” he said in an interview set to air Sunday night on CBS.
Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about Trump’s promise to establish tariffs on goods from countries such as China and Mexico in the first 100 days of his presidency, Ryan again demurred.
“Well, I think there’s a better way of dealing with that particular issue,” Ryan said, citing his own tax reform plan. “This is something that Donald also talked about during the campaign, which is to fix our taxes on border adjustments, which we believe is a smarter way, which is what all the other countries do, which is not tariffs, not trade wars. So we think there are better ways of dealing with making American products and workers more competitive and really, it’s fixing our tax code.”
Ryan didn’t say whether he would pass the 35 percent or 45 percent tariffs Trump has suggested.
“He’s trying to make America more competitive. He’s trying to make the American worker more competitive, he’s trying to make it so that American businesses stay in America,” Ryan said. “And we believe the smartest and best way to do that is comprehensive tax reform ― which actually makes America much more competitive without any adverse effects, without any collateral damage to the economy. “
Ryan said that people who are terrified to see Trump take the White House should “put their minds at ease.”
“I think people should rest assured,” he said. “America is a pluralistic, inclusive country. It is, it has been, and it will continue to be.”
This post has been updated with Trump’s comments on deportations from a CBS interview set to air Sunday night.