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Paul Ryan Says He 'Really Misspoke' in Calling Military Budget 'Smoke and Mirrors


Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday said he "misspoke" when he accused Pentagon generals this past week of not being truthful to Congress about their budgetary needs amid deficit reduction measures.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said during an event Thursday: "We don't think the generals are giving us their true advice....I think there’s a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the Pentagon’s budget.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey responded by saying he stood by his testimony on the Pentagon’s spending request, the Washington Post reported.

"I really misspoke, to be candid with you," Ryan said during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" when asked about his comments. "I didn’t mean to make that kind of an impression. So, I was clumsy in how I was describing the point I was trying to make."

He said he's spoken with Dempsey to clarify what he meant, which was that the Pentagon should not have had to conform to the budget number presented by the White House, and that it should have been reversed.

"What I was attempting to say is, President Obama put out his budget number for the Pentagon first, $500 billion dollar cut, and then they began the strategy review to conform the budget to meet that number. We think it should have been the other way around," Ryan said.

Ryan reiterated the "misspoke" explanation on ABC's "This Week."

Watch below, via CNN. Ryan's comments about the generals begin at the 5:40 mark:

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