Donald Trump finally endorsed Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan Friday evening — ending the standoff between the Republican presidential nominee and House Speaker.
“I support and endorse our Speaker of the House Paul Ryan,” Trump said at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin Friday evening in an apparent nod to party unity.
The Manhattan billionaire contended that while he and Ryan do not see eye-to-eye on many issues, they do agree on many other things.
Trump’s endorsement came after a week of speculation following an interview with the Washington Post in which he said he was “not quite there yet” when it came to offering his endorsement to Ryan.
“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership,” Trump had said. “We need very, very strong leadership, and I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”
For his part, Ryan only endorsed Trump after he officially became the Republican nominee and even then has been openly critical of some of Trump’s rhetoric and policy proposals.
Paul Nehlen, Ryan’s Republican primary challenger, said in a statement that Trump’s endorsement is “appropriate and is a display of true leadership.”
“Mr. Trump’s early refusal to endorse Ryan sent a clear signal to Wisconsin voters that Ryan is not his preferred candidate in this race,” Nehlen said.
The businessman — whose campaign drew favorable attention from Trump last week — has blasted Ryan’s criticisms of Trump, calling Ryan’s actions a “betrayal” to the party. Ryan and Nehlen will face off on Aug. 9.
This story has been updated.
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