Speaker Ryan Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban After Orlando Attack

“This is a war with radical Islam. It's not a war with Islam," Ryan said.

ByABC News
June 14, 2016, 7:17 PM

— -- House Speaker Paul Ryan stood by his criticism of Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration Tuesday, saying it was against the country’s interests.

“I stand by remarks,” Ryan said today in a news conference at the Republican National Committee. “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country's interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles.”

The Wisconsin Republican, referencing the House GOP's election-year national security agenda and the House's vote last year on a proposal to pause Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States, said the "smarter way to go is to have a security test and not a religious test."

“This is a war with radical Islam. It's not a war with Islam. Muslims are our partners. The vast, vast majority of Muslims around this country and around the world are moderate. They're peaceful, they're tolerant,” he said.

Ryan endorsed Trump roughly two weeks ago, but has been critical of the likely Republican nominee, including Trump's recent comments about a federal judge of Mexican descent.

On Monday, Trump doubled down on his proposed Muslim immigration ban after the Orlando terror attack. Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando Sunday morning, was born in New York to Afghan immigrants.

In a speech in New Hampshire Monday, Trump called for a ban on immigration from "areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism," and suggested he could do so as president without consulting Congress.

Ryan, who has been at loggerheads with the administration over President Obama's immigration executive actions, said Trump's comments raise "a question about immigration law," but did not say if he would support changing immigration laws unilaterally.

At a separate news conference Tuesday, Ryan deflected additional questions about Trump and his comments on terror after the Orlando attack.