Ryan, the House speaker, appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday to discuss his recently-announced retirement plans with host Gayle King. During the interview, Ryan said that even as he would be stepping away from formal Republican politics, he'd still advocate for expanding the GOP's appeal, including pushing for increased diversity in the party. But Ryan didn't bring up the Trump administration's minority problem all on his own.
Instead, it was King who invoked a photo shared by President Trump on Wednesday night that showed Ryan and other top congressional Republicans grinning at the White House — all white men, flashing a thumbs-up.
Ryan said that their cheery expressions were because they were celebrating all of their accomplishments, but King cut in to point out that the photograph was rather homogenous. "When I look at that picture, Mr. Speaker, I have to say, I don't see anybody that looks like me in terms of color or gender," said King. "And you were one of the main people that said you wanted to do more for the Republican Party, to expand the base. So when I look at that picture I have to say, I don't feel very celebratory, I feel very excluded."
Ryan responded by explaining that he wants to recruit more minorities to Congress. "I don't like the fact that you feel that way. We need more minorities and more women in our party," he said. Just because he'll be leaving office, Ryan said, doesn't mean he will stop working toward that goal. "I'm gonna keep being involved and focusing on inclusive aspirational politics," he said.
King also pressed Ryan about his relationship with Trump, with the speaker insisting that he and Trump worked well together, despite disagreeing on some issues. Watch the exchange below, via CBS. Summer Meza