Photo: AP

In a profile in the New York Times, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan explained at length how his strong leadership skills helped avoid “tragedy” in the Trump administration:

Ryan prefers to tell Trump how he feels in private. He joins a large group of Trump’s putative allies, many of whom have worked in the administration, who insist that they have shaped Trump’s thinking and behavior in private: the “Trust me, I’ve stopped this from being much worse” approach. “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,” Ryan tells me. “I advanced this goal, I advanced this goal, I advanced this goal.”

I locked in on the word “tragedy.” It sets the mind reeling to whatever thwarted “tragedies” Ryan might be talking about. I asked for an example. “No, I don’t want to do that,” Ryan replied. “That’s more than I usually say.”

Ah, yes. Paul Ryan has avoided that tragedy and that tragedy and that tragedy and that tragedy and? Oh.

Ryan announced his retirement in April, but as his congressional tenure comes to a close, he assured the Times and his critics that he has no regrets. Zero. Zilch. Nada! “I’m very comfortable with the decisions I’ve made. I would make them again, do it again the same way,” he said. (Yeah, no shit.)

He went on to defend himself against those who believe, correctly, that Ryan has been a passive “yes” man to the president. He told the Times that Trump simply enjoys “trolling.” “I think some people would like me to start a civil war in our party and achieve nothing,” Ryan said.

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Yes, he definitely achieved something.

Check out the rest of the profile at the Times.