Breitbart News has been, and may forever be, at war with House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Ryan has been a favorite target at Breitbart for years. Current White House chief strategist and former Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon has made little secret of his disdain for Ryan. In December 2015, Bannon reportedly said in an email to Matthew Boyle, the site’s Washington political editor, that his “long game” was for Ryan to be “gone by spring.”
That same month, Bannon co-authored a piece with Julia Hahn—also now working in the White House—that did not pull any punches: “Paul Ryan’s first major legislative achievement is a total and complete sell-out of the American people masquerading as an appropriations bill.” Breitbart continued to bait Ryan throughout the campaign. In October, Hahn wrote a story accusing Ryan of supporting Hillary Clinton, writing that the two shared a “progressive, globalist worldview.” The art for the story was Ryan’s face superimposed over the Clinton campaign logo.
The latest salvo came on Monday night, as Boyle published audio from an October conference call with House Republicans in which Ryan distanced himself from Trump after the leak of the Access Hollywood tape. Though Ryan’s comments were reported at the time, the release of the audio recording—“I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future"—revived a story that had been buried by the two men’s uneasy rapprochement since then.