A site once run by Steve Bannon just leaked audio of Paul Ryan dumping Trump in October

Leaked audio captures Paul Ryan slamming Trump in October

Breitbart News fired a salvo at Republican Paul Ryan, posting an audio recording of the House speaker distancing himself from then-presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The audio was posted Monday night, as Ryan and Trump work to promote the GOP heath-care bill. The substance of the Oct. 10 recording received wide coverage at the time.

"I am not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future," Ryan said in the audio obtained by the right-wing website that has negatively covered the new health-care plan. At the time of the recording, Ryan said he would not campaign with Trump.

The comments came on a conference call with House Republicans, following the leak of a 2005 tape in which Trump bragged about touching women without their consent. The audio's release now, though, comes at a challenging time for Ryan, as he tries to persuade skeptical pockets of his party to support his plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In its report on the recording, Breitbart said: "Now, on top of all of this, this new audio file raises questions as to how loyal Ryan is to Trump politically — and is asking the new president to use precious political capital to push through legislation that seems arithmetically destined for congressional failure. That could doom or at least dampen other key elements of the Trump agenda, like tax reform, immigration reform, national security efforts, budgetary reforms, building up of the U.S. military, trade renegotiation and more."

A spokesperson for Ryan told Breitbart that the audio is nothing new, saying, "The world is well aware of this history. ... And obviously a lot has happened since then. As everyone knows."

Steve Bannon, chief strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump.
Olivier Douliery | Bloomberg | Getty Images

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon left his post as executive chairman of Breitbart in August to become chief executive of the Trump campaign. It is unclear what ties exist between Bannon and Breitbart today or if he owns shares in the private news organization.

Ryan has said he has "no doubt [Republicans will] pass" the replacement bill. Meanwhile, he faces major headwinds from conservatives who say the plan too closely resembles the ACA, better known as Obamacare. Some moderate GOP senators have criticized its provision rolling back Medicaid expansion.

The opposition could be strong enough to derail the bill in either the House or the Senate.

Also on Monday, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report estimating that 14 million more people would become uninsured next year should the Republican proposal to replace Obamacare become law. That number would rise to 24 million by 2026.

Ryan, conversely, said the report shows that "when people have more choices, costs go down." He went on to criticize Obamacare further, saying there would be a stable transition between health-care plans and that nobody would have the rug pulled out from under them.