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Ryan pushes back on Trump, says Congress will not raise tariffs

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington in December. (Cliff Owen / Associated Press)
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington in December. (Cliff Owen / Associated Press)
By Lindsey Mcpherson Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON – Speaker Paul D. Ryan, in a break from President-elect Donald Trump, said Wednesday that Congress is not going to increase taxes on imports and exports.

“We’re not going to be raising tariffs,” Ryan said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

Trump has called for a “big border tax” on companies that leave the United States but continue to sell their goods here.

Ryan said “the secret” to getting businesses to stay in the country is to level the playing field on taxes, lowering taxes for businesses, not increasing them.

In signs of another gap with the president-elect, Ryan called WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a “sycophant for Russia.”

Hewitt had asked Ryan for his personal opinion on Assange after the speaker declined to comment on Trump’s Wednesday morning tweet quoting Assange saying “a 14 year old could have hacked (John) Podesta,” who served as campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and that Russia did not leak the information.

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