In his first major interview since announcing he will not run for re-election, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was interviewed by “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, who grilled him about the lack of representation of women and people of color in the Republican Party.

During the interview, King mentioned a photo of Ryan along with President Trump, Vice President Pence and a number of other administration and congressional officials, all smiling and giving Trump’s signature thumbs-up sign.

“Very celebratory. What were you all celebrating?” King asked.

“Just the accomplishments we’ve had heretofore and then the rest of the agenda that we’re working on,” Ryan responded before listing what he sees as his party’s accomplishments regarding infrastructure, health care and other issues. King, however, wasn’t done talking about the photo.

” ‘Cause, you know, 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,” King said, adding: “And you were one of the main people that said you want to do more for the Republican Party, to expand. You wanted to expand the base. Some say this president really doesn’t want 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.”

“Well, I— I— I don’t like the fact that you feel that way. And we need more minorities, more women in our party,” Ryan replied. He later added: “That’s something I’m going to keep working on. That’s something—I’m not going away from life. I’m going to keep being involved and focusing on inclusive, aspirational politics.”

posted by Emily Wells


Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig