House Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday strongly denied that he's leaving office over having to deal with President Donald Trump, calling that notion "fake news" and saying he's "grateful" Trump won the presidency.
"People don't like Trump say this," Ryan told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
"Yes, it's fake news, of course."
Ryan confirmed on April 11 that he would not be seeking reelection telling reporters that he planned to retire in order to spend more time with his family. Even though the Wisconsin Republican and Trump started off by bumping heads often, Ryan has insisted that he and Trump now get along well.
"Look what his election got us," Ryan said Tuesday. "It got us finally a unified government where we could take on these issues."
"I'm glad he's given us the chance to do fundamental tax reform that finally got done," Ryan said. "Look at the regulatory relief. Look at what the oil and gas industry is doing now that we have lifted the ban on exporting crude oil. Look at all the fracking occurring."
The tax bill has also allowed oil drilling in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a measure that's been sought for years, said Ryan.
"We are putting OPEC to the side," said Ryan. "Why? Because Donald Trump got elected president with a Republican Congress and look what's happening...they have discovered oil fields as big as the Saudi Arabian fields in just one part of Texas."
Ryan assumed the speakership reluctantly three years ago and told CNBC Tuesday that's because he knew what would have been involved.
"I loved being Ways and Means chair," he said. "It's a great job and it's a job you can have a really good family/work life balance. Speaker is a different story."
Meanwhile, he said he's been working on entitlement reform "pretty much my whole life," and he's proud of the fact that ever since he chaired the House Budget Chair, "we've passed budgets in the house that balance the budget, we reform entitlements, that pay down the debt. We passed the biggest entitlement reform bill in the history of Congress in the country in the House last year."
Ryan, at 48, has been in office for 20 years, but said he won't be seeking election to another public office any time soon.
He did laugh, however, when the show's hosts asked him if he would follow in the steps of his predecessor, John Boehner, who announced last week he was joining the board of a cannabis company.
"I just about choked on my coffee," said Ryan, laughing. "No, I will not be doing that. My plan is to come up with my plan in 2019... I'm going to figure that stuff out later."
He also endorsed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, once again, to replace him.
"It will be the last thing we want to do, is have disruption of leadership elections in the middle of a term," said Ryan.
"There is also much left to do, including infrastructure bills, regulatory relief measures, and Dodd/Frank reforms, he said, but he is proud of the achievements reached under his watch.
"We are more gelled than we were ever before," he said. "One of the reasons why I'm here is because we had a fractured caucus. We have mended those we are now working together to pass legislation.
"I don't think the schisms exist like they did before I'm confident we have a good leadership team that is tried and true and has produced. It's going to be a much more seamless transition this time around."
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