Paul Ryan has been accused of “double standards” over his handling of the fallout from the deadly attack in Orlando, Florida, by Democrats and Republicans alike.
The Minnesota congresswoman was among a number of prominent figures to condemn President Donald Trump’s response to the attack, which killed 49 people and wounded more than 500.
Ryan’s critics say the Wisconsin Republican has a responsibility to speak out on the issue and defend Trump’s reaction, while Democrats and Republican critics say it shows a double standard.
Ryan was the first sitting member of Congress to condemn the attack in a letter published on Wednesday in The Hill.
In it, the Wisconsin congressman writes: “It is imperative that I defend the President’s actions and speak out against the attacks that took place in Orlando.”
But Ryan has a long history of criticizing the President, particularly over his stance on the war in Afghanistan.
He also has criticized Trump’s handling of several other issues in the wake of the shooting, including the ongoing investigation into the shooting death of a black man by police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Ryan’s criticism of Trump has earned him criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans.
He is also one of only three Republicans to be a co-sponsor of legislation to provide additional funding to Puerto Rico to aid the recovery effort after Hurricane Maria.
In his statement Wednesday, Ryan said he “stands by the President” and called for “full accountability” for the attack.
“I was shocked by the shooting in Orlando and I am saddened that so many people were injured and that such senseless violence occurred,” he said.
“I know that the President will be willing to defend the right of a responsible person to use deadly force.
We will all have to be accountable to one another. “