EXCLUSIVE: Paul Ryan one-on-one with TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson

Posted at 8:33 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 23:28:24-04

It’s been exactly six months since President Donald Trump took office, and TODAY’S TMJ4’s Charles Benson visited Capitol Hill for a one-on-one interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan to ask him what he and Trump have done, and if the Republicans are holding the president accountable.

Watch the full interview below:

Ryan keeps a list of House accomplishments in his pocket.

“The biggest military pay raise in eight years,” he said, reading from the card. “The biggest increase in border security in a decade. We overhauled the veteran administration that's pretty important.”

Trump has signed 42 bills in his first six months, an accomplishment he says is more than any other president.

Our partners at PolitiFact Wisconsin say that’s less than former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, but more than  Barack Obama in the same period.

Ryan has also met with Foxconn as Wisconsin tries to land the Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer and its 10,000 jobs.

“We are really hopeful this is going to happen,” Ryan said.

Back in Washington, the topic often turns to Trump. Ryan points out there are three separate investigations into Russia’s meddling and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign team in the 2016 campaign.

The Special Counsel investigation seems to widen every week. Ryan sounds far more skeptical of Russia than Trump does.

“We are doing those things to keep any administration accountable to find out basically what Russia did I mean Vladimir Putin is not a good guy,” Ryan said.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore agrees work is getting done in DC.

“It’s a distraction, yes,” she said.

But she worries the Russian investigation and Trump tweets overshadow Republican’s efforts to gut Obama era regulation like Dodd Frank, aimed at protecting consumers from another financial crisis. Ryan says it stymied economic growth.

“The majority is trying to undermine Dodd Frank and put Wall Street back in charge of our economy and put us in a situation where we might see another collapse of our economy,” Moore said.

Ryan still has big expectations. He thinks significant tax reform can pass this year. But Trump's massive push to invest billion in infrastructure projects may get pushed to early next year.