Gayle King Confronts Paul Ryan Over Lack of Diversity in GOP Ranks: 'I Feel Very Excluded'

April 12, 2018

CBS host Gayle King told outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) she felt "very excluded" when looking at a photo of Ryan, President Donald Trump and other top Republicans because they were all white men.

Ryan, who announced Wednesday he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term, met Trump at the White House and posed for a "thumbs-up" photo with him, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R., Texas), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.).

Ryan said they were celebrating the accomplishments they'd had and the agenda they're working on, such as health care and infrastructure bills.

"When I look at that picture, Mr. Speaker, I have to say, I don't see anybody who looks like me, in terms of color or gender," King said. "And you were one of the main people that said you wanted to do more for the Republican Party—you wanted to expand the base ... When I look at that picture, I have to say, I don't feel very celebratory. I feel very excluded."

"I don't like the fact that you feel that way, and we need more minorities, more women in our party, and I've been focusing on that kind of recruitment," Ryan said.

He mentioned he recruited Rep. Mia Love (R., Utah), a black woman, and he said he would continue to be involved in "inclusive, aspirational politics." Ryan said his focus on tackling poverty had been pushed to the wayside because of his "busy day job."