Why Ryan, Undercut by Trump, May Actually Emerge Stronger

But in President Trump, his mercurial partner in the White House, the speaker deftly found a foil to deflect some of the anger that had felled the man he succeeded, John A. Boehner.

President Trump’s fiscal deal with Democratic leaders in Congress — which passed the House with more than a third of Republicans voting against it — infuriated House conservatives, who struck first at Mr. Ryan, but ultimately turned their ire on the Trump White House. By week’s end, the men feeling the lash were Mr. Trump’s Treasury secretary and budget director. If anything, Mr. Ryan may have emerged stronger.

..  “He didn’t create it; he’s reacting to it. I think he laid out a course that was acceptable to the conference as a whole, and to conservatives as well, and he had the rug pulled out from underneath him.”

.. He singled out Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, and Mr. Ryan by name, saying, “They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented.”

.. Mark Meadows, the North Carolina Republican and Freedom Caucus chairman, agreed, warning in an interview that failure on the tax plan would be “extremely damaging for the speaker and for all members of the G.O.P. conference, as well as the president.”

.. By week’s end, tempers among even some of the angriest members of the Freedom Caucus had cooled, and Mr. Meadows insisted that the rumors of a coup in the offing were false.

“I wouldn’t want his job for anything,” he said. “I have a hard enough time keeping 40 members of the Freedom Caucus together.’’

Some moderates said that in cutting a deal with Democrats, Mr. Trump may have done the speaker a favor, demonstrating to hard-line conservatives that they cannot always have their way.

.. As the meeting broke up, some conservatives seemed to feel almost sorry for the speaker. And some of the more unruly voices of the Republican conference were reassessing their uncompromising tone.