Ryan: Trump is now GOP ‘establishment’

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an interview Wednesday that former President Trump now represents the establishment wing of the Republican party and described himself as holding minority views.

“I’m in the minority in my party right now; I’m not in the establishment. I’m frankly an anti-establishment Republican, and I think you can safely argue — I don’t enjoy acknowledging this — that Trump is the establishment, and Trump populism is the establishment,” Ryan said in an interview with The Washington Post’s Paul Kane.

Ryan, who sits on the board of Fox Corporation Board of Directors, defended Fox News coverage that includes more isolationist perspectives on foreign policy, noting that’s where many Republican voters are and that Fox News covers a large range of views.

“That Trump populism is this more isolationist strain that I think is wrong and dangerous, and I don’t support, but that does represent a large swath of Republican voters,” Ryan said.

“And so,” he said, when you watch Fox News, “you will see opinions representing that majority, that establishment, that current, present-day establishment.”

Ryan has been critical of Trump in recent years, as he has defended foreign policy hawks and defiant Republicans including former Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), who served on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Ryan, in the interview Wednesday, reiterated his concern with the trajectory of the GOP but said he thinks the trend is “temporary.”

“But, again, I’m an anti-establishment Republican, and the establishment right now is Donald Trump and his cult of personality. And that is regrettable that what is attracting — what is really sort of the core of our party at this moment,” Ryan said.

“I think it’s temporary, because I just frankly can’t see it being sustainable.”

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