Paul Ryan recorded denouncing Donald Trump during presidential campaign

'I am not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future'

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Audio has been released of House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he would never defend Donald Trump again.

The call between Mr Ryan and fellow Republicans took place in October, after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes showing Mr Trump bragging about being able to do "anything" he wants to women.

"I am not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future," Mr Ryan said in the recording released by Breitbart.

He continued: “Look, you guys know I have real concerns with our nominee... This is going to be a turbulent month. Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not.

"But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do. Personally, you need to decide what’s best for you. And you all know what’s best for you where you are.”

After his comments were made public in October, Mr Trump tweeted to say Mr Ryan should "not waste his time on fighting [the] Republican nominee".

The Breitbart report said it was unclear how many Republicans took part in the call and whether they knew it was being recorded. 

Mr Ryan went on to say he would focus on helping members of Congress get reelected rather than help the presidential candidate.