Paul Ryan’s announcement that he would retire at the end of his term, instead of seeking reelection in November, surprised Republicans in Washington D.C., and it seems to have rattled the White House. That panic was easily seen as White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to reporters during a press briefing.
Right after Ryan announced his decision, Florida Rep. Dennis Ross also said that he would be retiring.
During the press briefing, a reporter asked if Trump is concerned that more Republicans will follow Ryan and retire in 2019.
Sanders, who usually shows unwavering confidence to a fault, didn’t seem too sure about the situation. “We certainly hope that Republicans will continue to remain in the House, especially those that support the president’s agenda,” she said.
She then added that Trump hopes “a number” of candidates campaigning for office will “come out” to support Trump.
But the Republicans know that the Democrats are likely to win the House and Senate in November, and Ryan’s decision could be the first domino to fall.
Trump’s approval rating is continually dismal. By November, most Americans are going to be wondering when they’ll see pay increases resulting from his tax bill, which won’t be coming. And Trump’s numerous affairs and scandals that were revealed this year continue to take a toll on his public standing.
Ryan’s announcement also came just after Trump’s personal attorney’s office was raided by the FBI. For months, there were rumors that Ryan would step down or retire. Seeing his party’s leader’s attorney get into trouble with the FBI, along with Trump threatening the agency, probably helped Ryan make his decision.
The question now might be, which other Republicans will follow him?
.@PressSec: "We certainly hope that Republicans will continue to remain in the House, especially those that support the president's agenda."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 11, 2018