Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump offered some unexpected praise of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein Tuesday night for his technique in ridding his country of terrorists.
Speaking at a Raleigh, North Carolina rally—where the Republican accused opponent Hillary Clinton of bribery in the investigation into her emails—Trump told supporters that Hussein did at least one thing well.
“Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy,” said Trump. “But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist – it was over.”
The line was meant as a dig at the Obama administration’s handling of terrorism, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back against the comments Wednesday morning, flatly calling Hussein “evil,” according to the Hill.
“He was one the 20th century’s most evil people,” Ryan said in an interview with Fox News when asked about the statement. “He was up there. He committed mass genocide against his own people using chemical weapons.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has praised Hussein, according to the Hill, having made the same argument in February and in October saying that the world would “100 percent” be better off if the former Iraqi president were still alive and in power.