Speaker: Can See Why Trump Comments Rattle Mideast Allies – ABC News

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House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday the whole world is watching American politics and that he can understand how Middle East allies would be rattled by Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s provocative comments.

The Wisconsin Republican, who recently led a congressional delegation to five countries in the Middle East, dismissed the notion that a war-weary United States could retreat, as reflected by Trump’s demand that allies pay more or else America will step back. Ryan, who has been compelled to tamp down speculation that he could be the GOP’s eventual presidential nominee, said that approach is unrealistic.

“There is a commonality that this has been our problem too long, it shouldn’t be our problem any more if we just pull out, we can fortress America and we will be better off. I don’t buy that,” Ryan told a handful of reporters. “The reason I don’t buy that is it is going to come to us. Who else is going to help lead the world … to ultimately extinguish radical Islamic terrorism? And if we just pull back and think our oceans are going to save us, the evidence of the last couple of decades disproves that theory.”

The congressional delegation traveled to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Ryan criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and said allies wanted to know if the United States is “still in the game.”

He said they were rattled a bit by administration policy. Asked if Trump’s comments had rattled them as well, Ryan said, “Sure. I get that too. Everybody pays attention to our politics.”

Ryan expounded on his tacit criticism of Trump, who has proposed a ban on Muslims coming to the United States. Earlier this year, Ryan rejected that idea. He said allies knew about it and thanked him for speaking out.

“When he proposed the Muslim immigration ban, that really got under my skin, so I spoke out very forcefully the day after,” he said. “When you see our beliefs our values and conservative principles being disfigured, you have to speak out for it if you’re a party leader.”

Speaker: Can See Why Trump Comments Rattle Mideast Allies – ABC News}