MADISON- At a news conference on Friday, Paul Ryan made comments on Russian interference in the 2016 election, health care, and his avoidance of voters in his own district. On the issue of Russian interference, Ryan said that he did not believe that Russian interference changed the election’s outcome, but that it was clear that “nevertheless they tried.” On health care, Ryan defended the Republican-supported Obamacare repeal plans, and disputed analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. Ryan still appears to think that consumers do not want to buy insurance, and denies that thousands will be kicked off their plans.

While speaking to reporters, Ryan also defended his practice of avoiding his district’s voters. The Speaker also said that media presence causes people to “kind of clam up” when talking about why he does not let reporters into his closed town halls.

Shamane Mills at Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

Ryan made the comments at an event in Madison Friday. Asked about health care, Ryan said there’s a lot of confusion over the House Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare.

He disputed a nonpartisan analysis by the Congressional Budget Office on how many Americans would no longer have health coverage under the plan; he said many consumers just don’t want to buy it.

As for polls showing support for Obamacare, Ryan said both the existing law and the replacement plan include subsidies to help pay for coverage.

“I think what polls reflect are people have that aspiration we all share; we just have a big disagreement about how to get there,” Ryan said.

Some Republicans have faced contentious town hall meetings because of opposition to their health plan and Ryan defended his decision to restrict the media from his constituent forums.

“I find when you guys are there, people kind of clam up; they get a little nervous. But when we do business town halls without media, its very interactive. So I’m finding lots of different ways of having a good civil dialogue with constituents,” Ryan told reporters.

He said his method of plant tours, office hours and telephone town halls is more productive.

Read more at Wisconsin Public Radio.

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