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Ryan at odds with Trump on birthright citizenship

FILE - In this July 24, 2018 file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., attends a news conference following a GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday President Donald Trump can't end birthright citizenship on his own.

The top Republican told WVLK radio in Kentucky, "Well you obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order."

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Ryan's comments Tuesday offered a rare challenge to the president — from his own party.

Trump told "Axios on HBO" he wants to end birthright citizenship for babies born to non-citizens and immigrants not authorized to be in the United States.

Constitutional scholars are questioning whether changes could be made without Congress.

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday the administration is looking at action that would revise birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed under the 14th Amendment. The amendment's Citizenship Clause says all people born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States.

Pence said the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether the language in the amendment applies specifically to people in the country illegally.

In a Politico interview, Pence denied that President Donald Trump's current talk about immigration is a scare tactic to rally Republican support in the midterms.

Ryan said Republicans didn't like when then-President Barack Obama "tried changing immigration laws via executive action. He added, "Obviously as conservatives we believe in the Constitution."

Ryan is retiring but the No. 3 House Republican, Louisiana's Rep. Steve Scalise, said on Fox that he's glad Trump is considering options.

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