President Trump took a swipe at House Speaker Paul Ryan for challenging his controversial plans to sign an executive order which would terminate citizenship for babies of undocumented immigrants.
“Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!” tweeted the president on Wednesday. “Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!”
Trump’s remarks come one day after Ryan appeared on a radio station to reject the White House’s latest overhaul—which Trump promoted during a teaser for Axios on HBO on Tuesday. The president called it “ridiculous” that undocumented immigrants could come into the United States and give birth to children who would be naturalized citizens.
“You obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” Ryan told WVLK radio. “We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution.”
“I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case, the 14th Amendment’s pretty clear, and that would involve a very very lengthy Constitutional process,” continued Ryan on Tuesday. “I believe in interpreting the Constitution as its written, and that means you can’t do something like this via executive order.”
Trump’s relationship with Ryan is said to be tenuous. In an interview with The New York Times, Ryan claimed to influence the president’s behavior while avoiding “tragedy.”
“I can look myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say I avoided that tragedy, I avoided that tragedy, I avoided that tragedy. I advanced this goal, I advanced this goal, I advanced this goal,” Ryan told the publication in August.
The House Speaker will retire from Congress in January.