House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) did not say whether there is a difference between the sexual misconduct claims made against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and President Donald Trump in an interview with NPR that aired Friday morning.
NPR’s Robert Inskeep asked Ryan to explain the difference between the allegations aired against the two men, noting that the speaker had called for Moore to withdraw from the Senate race. Ryan had said of the allegations against Moore: “I believe those allegations are credible.”
“I think the Roy Moore — I don’t know if — I’m focused on Congress,” Ryan first answered. “Roy Moore is trying to come to Congress. My job here as speaker of the House is to help make sure that Congress is an institution that we’re proud of and that’s what I’m focused on. He’s running for Congress and I think the allegations against him were very very credible.”
Pressed by Inskeep again to explain the difference, Ryan replied, “I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t spent my time reviewing the difference in these two cases.”
— NPR (@NPR) December 1, 2017
Many Republican leaders were quick to call for Roy Moore to leave the Alabama Senate race when he was accused of making inappropriate romantic or sexual advances with teenage girls while he was in his 30s. Those leaders are now facing questions as to why they were so quick to condemn Moore but have stood by Trump, who has faced sexual misconduct claims from several women.
Asked in November whether he believes the women who accused Trump of misconduct, just as he said he believed Moore’s accusers, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to compare the two situations.
“Look, we’re talking about the situation in Alabama,” he told HuffPost. “I’d be happy to address that if there are any further questions.”