In a press conference Tuesday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims entering the United States.
“Freedom of religion is fundamental constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country,” Ryan said. "Normally, I do not comment on what's going on in the presidential election. I will take an exception today. This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it's not what this country stands for."
"Not only are there many Muslims serving in our armed forces dying for this country, there are Muslims serving right here in the House working every day to uphold and to defend the Constitution," Ryan continued. "Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islamic terror are Muslims — the vast, vast, vast majority of whom are peaceful, who believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, individual rights."
Later in the press conference, Ryan was asked by a reporter if he would back Trump if he was the nominee, to which Ryan responded, "I'm going to support whoever the Republican nominee is, and I'm going to stand up for what I believe in as I do that."
Ryan's comments are the latest — but one of the strongest — in a series of rejections from many Republicans leaders at the national, state, and local level of Trump's plan, announced on Monday.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a statement released from his campaign read.
Kyle Blaine is the deputy politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Kyle Blaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.