WASHINGTON — Remember the extraordinary public clash this week between two Republican senators and President Donald Trump? House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that people aren’t interested.

Ryan waded into — and quickly out of — that dispute on Thursday, when a reporter asked whether he shares Sen. Jeff Flake’s criticisms of Trump.

“I don’t think the American people care about that,” the Wisconsin Republican responded.

Flake, R-Ariz., gave a blistering Senate speech Tuesday in which he accused the president of dishonesty and undermining democratic ideals, saying he would not be “complicit” in that. Flake also announced he’ll not seek re-election next year, conceding that his open opposition to Trump made him incapable of winning his party’s 2018 Senate nomination.

Ryan said people want lawmakers to “solve their problems. I don’t think the American people want to see us up here yelling at each other.”

Flake and Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker, who is also retiring, both criticized Trump in what had been a remarkable, public display of infighting among party leaders. Trump had clashed with both men previously and quickly fired back, tweeting that both had “zero chance” of being re-elected.

As members of Congress began leaving the Capitol for the week, no other GOP lawmakers joined Flake and Corker in sharply censuring the president.

Author photo
ALAN FRAM
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.