House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday dismissed the idea that President Trump was a hindrance to congressional Republicans' legislative agenda, despite Trump's tweets about the GOP's healthcare and tax efforts.
"He's always throwing ideas in the pot," Ryan, R-Wis., told CNN. "There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with him giving input and ideas We do it quite a bit privately and sometimes he does it publicly."
Trump, who previously called the House GOP's attempt to overhaul the Affordable Care Act "mean," argued that Obamacare's individual mandate should be repealed as part of House Republicans' tax plan and that he would not support 401(k) changes that limited the amount Americans could contribute to their retirement. Some saw those comments as disruptive because those ideas were being discussed internally by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Ryan's interview followed a House GOP press conference in which their highly anticipated tax proposal was released.
While Ryan acknowledged the challenge of reforming the tax code, he was confident that the GOP would succeed since the House, Senate and White House had been working on the project together since the summer, a joint initiative that is not similar to how the healthcare negotiations this year.
Ryan also commented on Trump's advocacy for the death penalty as a punishment for the suspect behind the Islamic State-inspired New York City attack Tuesday. Eight people were killed when Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented truck into pedestrians and cyclists.
"I think that's the president's prerogative to do that," Ryan said. "I think we should hold people to account. I think there should be no safe harbor in any way shape or form for terrorists. But as far as I'm concerned, let the justice system play itself out."