In an interview on PBS NewsHour that aired Wednesday evening,host Judy Woodruff reminded Ryan that while Bannon was running the ultra-conservative website Breitbart in 2015, he took a special interest in Ryan and referred to him as the enemy.
Ryan chuckled and denied he has a problem with Bannon.
I dont really know him, Ryan said. Ive gotten to know him two or three times. Weve had a few meetings. Weve gotten along fine. Hes not someone I have a history with. Obviously I didnt know him when he was opposing me all those times. Were different kinds of conservatives. Thats something that I can safely say, I think.
Ryan emphasized that he and Bannon both are committed to Trumps agenda.
[I] see a person which I have a common cause and purpose with, Ryan said. Were different kinds of conservatives. We really dont know each other. But were all trying to get this agenda enacted, and thats why I dont see a problem here.
Critics question Ryans commitment to Trump and speculate hes made a Faustian bargain with the new administration to further his own legislative gains, as Washington Post reporter Michael Gerson wrote Monday.
Ryan brushed off Gersons article as a bunch of bull.
He also doubled down on his support for Trumps executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries and Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., though months ago he spoke out against Trumps campaign promise of a Muslim ban.
This isnt a Muslim ban, Ryan said. If it were, I would be opposed to it.