“I spent my whole adult life in that building,” Ryan, who served as a Republican congressman from Wisconsin for two decades, later told Leibovich, according to the book. “And I saw my friends, a lot of cops, some of my old security detail — I’m still friends with a bunch of those guys. It really disturbed me, foundationally.”
Leibovich writes that Ryan told him he’s not much of a crier, but “something snapped in him” as he watched the Capitol attack.
CNN has reached out to a senior adviser at Ryan’s American Idea Foundation for comment.
His departure from Congress was seen as a blow to GOP members who saw Ryan as a stable and policy-oriented leader in a party shaken by Trump’s tumultuous presidency.
“Ryan figured the president would bitch and moan and maybe make a big show of ‘fighting’ for his supporters for a while. Everyone could feel good and victimized. But eventually Trump would just leave; hopefully, he would know to do this on his own. And everyone could then just get on with their lives,” Leibovich writes in the book.
Leibovich writes that Ryan hadn’t spoken with Trump since leaving Congress and “he expected never to speak to him again.”
“I was absolutely horrified,” Ryan said broadly of the insurrection to Leibovich.