Paul Ryan, the outgoing US House speaker, told an audience of business leaders and investors today (May 2) that he has tried to persuade Donald Trump to stop tweeting so much.
“We definitely could do with a few less tweets,” he said. “The president and I have had that conversation more times than I can count.”
Appearing at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, a gathering dubbed “Davos of the West,” Ryan was asked whether Trump’s tweets inject uncertainty into the public’s perception of the economy.
“They inject a lot of things,” Ryan said, scoring a laugh.
“Can you stop the tweets?” asked Brian Sullivan, a CNBC journalist interviewing Ryan on stage.
“I tried. It didn’t work,” Ryan responded, adding. “No really, he and I talk a lot.”
Trump won’t scale back, Ryan said, because the president “rightly believes he has found a way to speak directly to the people, going around the media, and it’s been very successful for him.”
One person who might remain pleased that Trump tweets so reliably is special counsel Robert Mueller, who has given Trump’s lawyers a list of the questions he’d like to ask of the president as part of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the US election. The New York Times obtained a copy of that list (paywall), which includes queries that can be at least partly answered by existing Trump tweets.
This question, for example: What did you think and do about Mr. Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony? (On May 3, Comey testified before the Senate about his investigation into Clinton.)
And these tweets:
At the Milken conference, Ryan was also asked to describe what Trump is like as a person. He said that like many business people who come to government, Trump became frustrated with its processes.
In some ways, Trump has made government operate more efficiently, Ryan implied.
“He has shuffled the deck so much, thrown so many things up in the air, that when we do things that 10 years ago we would have said, ‘There’s no way,’ it’s easy.” At the same time, the president has become more patient and able to multitask, Ryan said.
The single word Ryan would use to describe Trump? “Relentless.”
Much like his tweeting.