House Speaker Paul Ryan told House Republicans in a conference call last October that he would never defend then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to audio released Monday evening.
"I am not going to defend Donald Trump - not now, not in the future," Ryan told the group on Oct. 10.
Ryan said that in response to questions about an "Access Hollywood" video that surfaced on Oct. 7, in which Trump made inappropriate comments about women while talking with an entertainment host aboard the show's bus.
The newly published tape comes a week after Ryan and House GOP leadership released the American Health Care Act, which is meant to replace Obamacare. While Ryan and his lower chamber comrades have tried to sell the bill to the public and the rank-and-file, the audio indicates Ryan had serious concerns about Trump that could be playing a role in his push for healthcare reforms, which Trump promised as a candidate to undertake.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has repeatedly claimed Ryan misled Trump about his ability to get the bill through the Senate, calling the bill Obamacare Lite and not conservative enough for the GOP-controlled upper chamber to get behind.
Ryan's spokesman Brendan Buck said the Breitbart-obtained tapes are nothing new.
"The world is well aware of this history ... And obviously a lot has happened since then. As everyone knows," Buck told Breitbart. "This was in response to that ["Access Hollywood" incident], but as everyone knows, they came together toward the end of the campaign and the speaker vocally supported him and even campaigned with Pence," Buck said.
Ryan did not campaign with Trump following the "Access Hollywood" incident, but did rally with Vice President Mike Pence at various events.
According to the official White House schedule, Trump is scheduled to speak by phone with Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.