House Speaker Paul Ryan defends lack of open town hall meetings

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 16:25:55-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan says he finds invite-only town halls to be more productive than "a screaming fest" where people from outside his district try to "get on TV because they're yelling at somebody."

Ryan said Friday that he's finding "new and creative ways to interact with my constituents in a civil way." He says those include telephone town halls and face-to-face meetings at his congressional office in Janesville.

He took questions from reporters after two events in his Wisconsin congressional district on Thursday where only employees of the businesses could pose questions.

Ryan says that he finds when reporters are at town halls "people kind of clam up. They get a little nervous."

He says when he does business town halls without the media present "it's very interactive."