POLITICS

Paul Ryan: I've Talked With Donald Trump 'Extensively' About The Constitution

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President-elect Donald Trump, left, meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Capitol Hill in November. The
President-elect Donald Trump, left, meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Capitol Hill in November. The speaker said the two have discussed the Constitution.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and President-elect Donald Trump have discussed the Constitution “extensively” in their “almost daily conversations.”

In an excerpt of a “60 Minutes” interview that will air Sunday, Scott Pelley asked the speaker if Trump understands the role of the president and his obligation to work with Congress, rather than acting as “CEO of the United States.”

“Oh, we’ve talked about that extensively,” Ryan said. “We’ve talked about the Constitution, Article 1, the separation of powers.”

Still, it seems there are a few parts of the Constitution the pair could have spent some more time reviewing. Trump’s laundry list of comments about blocking constitutional rights touch on free speech, freedom of religion, due process and more.

Earlier this week, Trump suggested Americans should lose citizenship or be jailed for burning the flag ― a completely legal act protected under the First Amendment. In March, he expressed his desire to “open up libel laws” so he could sue media outlets for negative press.

Constitutional scholars have said Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States “would violate the Constitution,” specifically the Equal Protection Clause. Ryan said the ban is “not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.”

Disagreements between Ryan and Trump have been commonplace. Their rocky relationship has been peppered with name-calling, unflattering accusations and flip-flopping loyalty. Ryan held out on endorsing Trump throughout most of his campaign, though his resistance ultimately buckled in June.

“I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives,” Ryan announced in early June. “That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.”

A few days later, he called Trump’s remarks about a judge’s Mexican heritage the “textbook definition of a racist comment.” In October, Ryan said he was “sickened” by Trump’s infamous “grab them by the pussy” hot mic scandal. Trump responded on Twitter by calling him “weak and ineffective.”

But none of that matters to Ryan anymore, apparently. He confirmed to Pelley that they’ve “patched it up.”

“We’re fine,” he said. “We’re not looking back. We’re looking forward.”

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