House Speaker Paul Ryan's aides are pushing back against a lengthy report suggesting he will leave Congress after the 2018 election.
"This is pure speculation," said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong in a statement. "As the speaker himself said today, he's not going anywhere any time soon."
According to a Politico Magazine article published Thursday afternoon, "Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker."
The article cites interviews from three dozen people who know the Janesville native, none of whom "believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018."
The report is not the first to raise questions about how much longer Ryan will stay in office, now that a massive overhaul of the nation's tax code is within reach. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the month.
Ryan was asked earlier on Thursday whether he plans to leave Congress anytime "soon."
"I'm not, no," he responded.
Shortly after the Politico article was published on Thursday, Ryan aide Brendan Buck tweeted, "tldr" — short for "too long, didn't read."
The denials from Ryan's camp didn't stop his Democratic challengers, Caledonia iron worker Randy Bryce and Janesville school board member Cathy Myers, from trying to cash in on the reports.
"Paul Ryan doesn't think he can beat us. He's scared because of you," Bryce tweeted, with a link to a fundraising page. His campaign also emailed a fundraising pitch to supporters quoting the article.
"Paul Ryan is considering retirement because he sees women rising up nationwide, & knows #WI01 will be no different," Myers tweeted with a link to a contribution page.