Hundreds of protesters chant 'coward' at House Speaker Paul Ryan

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Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

Protesters targeted House Speaker Paul Ryan, chanting "coward" at him as he attended a charity event in Providence.

Republican Ryan, who was once an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, was slammed by protesters for working with the US president, in particular over Trump's plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

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At the rally, Democrat representative Aaron Regunber said: "No matter where he goes, wherever he takes his radically dangerous Ryan-Trump agenda, the resistance will be there to meet him."

At least 200 people gathered to protest against Ryan during his visit to Rhode Island. They carried placards against plans for Obamacare and a wall on the US's southern border with Mexico and booed the Republican as he entered the building.

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But Ryan's spokesperson suggested the setting for the protest – at non-profit career training organisations Year Up – was not appropriate.

"It is unfortunate protesters chose to demonstrate at Year Up," the spokesperson said as Ryan was shown around the organisation and told about its work.

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Demonstrators told the Boston Herald that none of their efforts were aimed at the non-profit organisation. Their intention, they said, was to target Ryan for his support of Trump's policies.

Ryan and Trump previously had a rocky relationship, with the House Speaker refusing to endorse Trump's bid for office until very late in the day. That prompted Trump to make disparaging comments about Ryan.

The pair appeared to have buried the hatchet as Ryan has given his backing to many of Trump's policies.

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