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Paul Ryan: "I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country's interest"

The presidential candidates face strong criticism for their responses to the Orlando mass shooting
Trump defends Muslim ban, Clinton focuses on gun laws 03:00

Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday implicitly disagreed with Donald Trump's remarks from a day earlier in which the presumptive GOP nominee repeated his call for a policy banning Muslims from entering the U.S and condemned radical Islam in the wake of the Orlando nightclub attack.

"I think there's a really important distinction that every American needs to keep in mind: This is a war with radical Islam. It's not a war with Islam," Ryan said when asked to react to Trump's terrorism speech on Monday.

Donald Trump speaks on deadly Orlando shooting 33:28

"Muslims are our partners," Ryan added. "The vast, vast majority of Muslims in this country and around the world are moderate, they're peaceful, they're tolerant."

Asked if the U.S. should implement a ban on Muslims entering the country, Ryan said that Congress has already addressed the issue with legislation on the visa waiver program after the San Bernardino attack in December.

"We ultimately need to have a tool where we have a security test, not a religious test, a security test," Ryan said.

The House, Ryan pointed out, has already passed a refugee bill that would implement a security test "so that we know who is coming into this country." Democrats have blocked the bill from advancing in the Senate.

Another reporter asked Ryan if Trump was wrong to double down on his call for a Muslim entry ban and whether Ryan stands by his original remarks on the ban.

"I stand by my remarks," he said. "I do not think a Muslim ban is our country's interest. I do not think it's reflective of our principles not only as a party, but as a country. I think the smarter way to go is to have a security test and not a religious test."

Ryan formally endorsed Trump earlier this month even though the two Republicans don't agree on key issues like the Muslim entry ban.

On Monday, Trump delivered a carefully scripted speech in New Hampshire on terrorism and immigration. He has suggested that his proposed Muslim entry ban would have prevented the attack on Sunday, but the shooter was born in the U.S. His parents are from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson are among the top administration officials who will brief House lawmakers behind closed doors on the Orlando attack Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill.

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