Paul Ryan Sums Up Donald Trump With 3 Blunt Words

The GOP former House speaker also revealed what Republicans in Congress now say about the second impeachment of the former president.

Paul Ryan, the Republican former House speaker-turned-Fox Corp. board member, has summed up Donald Trump as a “populist, authoritarian narcissist.”

The former president is “not a conservative,” Ryan declared during a recent virtual interview hosted by CEO advisory firm Teneo that the Republican Accountability group unearthed and shared on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.

Trump’s tendencies “are basically where narcissism takes him, which is whatever makes him popular, makes him feel good at any given moment,” Ryan said. “He doesn’t think in classical ‘liberal-conservative’ terms. He thinks in an authoritarian way. And he’s been able to get a big chunk of the Republican base to follow him because he’s the culture warrior.”

Ryan, who served in Congress as a Wisconsin Republican, talked about how former Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) had “paid for” their criticism of Trump with their congressional careers.

And he claimed that more Republicans in Congress now wish they’d taken a stand against Trump when he was impeached for a second time for inciting the deadly U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

The House voted 232-197 in favor of impeaching Trump. The Senate voted 57 to 43 to convict Trump, 10 votes short of the 67 required for it to actually happen.

They thought “Trump was dead,” Ryan said. “They thought after Jan. 6, he wasn’t going to have a comeback, he was dead. So they figured, ‘I’m not going to take this heat, I’m not going to vote against this impeachment, because he’s gone anyway.’ But what’s happened is he’s been resurrected.”

There are “a lot of people who already regret not getting him out of the way when they could have,” Ryan added. “So I think history will be kind to those people who saw what was happening and called it out, even though it was at the expense of their personal well-being.”

Ryan condemned Trump before the 2016 election, but went on to work alongside him as House speaker to pass major tax cuts. He left Congress in 2019 to become a director of Fox Corp., a position that has earned him criticism for his apparent reluctance to call out the divisive rhetoric peddled on Fox News.

Last year, Ryan said “anybody not named Trump” would be a better option for the Republican Party in the 2024 presidential election.

“We know we’re so much more likely to lose with Trump, because of the fact that he is not popular with suburban voters that we’re gonna want to win,” Ryan told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney. “We lost the House, the Senate, the White House in the space of two years. I don’t want to repeat that. I want to win.”

“The only reason [Trump] stays where he is is because everybody’s afraid of him,” Ryan said in another interview. “They’re afraid of him going after them, hurting their own ambition. But as soon as you sort of get the herd mentality going, it’s unstoppable.”

In September, Ryan said February 2024 could mark a turning point for the party if Trump’s GOP presidential rivals consolidate to deprive him of the nomination.

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