Trump Strikes Blow to GOP ‘Unity’ by Withholding Endorsement From House Speaker Ryan

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has secured the endorsement of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), but the Manhattan billionaire isn’t ready to reciprocate.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan delivers a speech on the second day of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland where Donald Trump received the party’s nomination. (Getty Images/Jeff Swensen)

Trump told the Washington Post Tuesday that he is “not quite there yet” when it comes to backing the Wisconsin Republican in his upcoming primary election. He contended that, while Ryan has sought out his support, Trump is only “giving it very serious consideration right now.”

“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump told the Post. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

On Monday, Trump praised Ryan’s primary challenger Paul Nehlen on social media as he thanked him for his “kind words, very much appreciated.”

The presidential nominee reiterated his praise for Nehlen Tuesday as he told the Post that he is running “a very good campaign.”

He added that Nehlen “is a big fan of what I’m saying — big fan.”

“[Ryan’s] opponent sent me a very scholarly and well thought out letter yesterday and all I did was say think you very much for your very nice letter. You saw my statement,” Trump said. “I’m giving very serious consideration to that whole situation, to Ryan, to Paul.”

While Ryan did endorse Trump after he became the GOP’s presumptive nominee, he has not withheld his criticism of the bombastic businessman, especially when it comes to his call for a moratorium on Muslim immigrants. He also told CNN prior to his endorsement that he was “just not quite there yet” when asked about his support of Trump — a phrase that Trump appears to be repeating in his Post interview.

Aside from Ryan, Trump also declined to support Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) in their primary challenges. Neither Ayotte nor McCain have endorsed Trump, though Ayotte has said she will “support” Trump.

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