Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan viewed retirement as an "escape hatch" from two more years working under President Trump, according to Tim Alberta's new book "American Carnage," per an early copy obtained by the Washington Post.

"Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time.... We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he's making some of these knee-jerk reactions."

Yes, but: Ryan, who sat down for multiple conversations with Alberta, largely publicly fell in line with the president during his tenure as House speaker as "the book details how many Republicans who once criticized Trump quickly changed their tune after his election," per the Post.

  • Ryan explained his decision, according to the Post: "I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right. ... Because, I'm telling you, he didn’t know anything about government ... I wanted to scold him all the time."

Go deeper ... Trump v. Paul Ryan: The final round

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2 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.