Donald Trump has officially thrown his support to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is competing in a Tuesday primary in Wisconsin, ending an extraordinary four-day standoff between party leaders.
“In our shared mission to make America great again, I endorse and support our Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Friday night.
“Paul Ryan. He’s a good man and good guy,” he added.
The GOP nominee also reversed his initial refusal to back Sen. John McCain of Arizona, saying “I hold in the highest esteem, Sen. John McCain. … I fully support and endorse his reelection.”
The New York businessman also announced that he is now backing New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
Trump, who appeared to open the rally by reading from prepared remarks, also railed against Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the FBI’s investigation of her private email setup before riffing on his own missteps this week.
The endorsements represent a 180-degree turn for the Republican presidential nominee, who earlier this week indicated that he was “not quite” ready to back Ryan. Trump also raised some eyebrows on Monday when he applauded Ryan’s primary opponent, Paul Nehlen, a Trump supporter who openly questioned why there are
Muslims in the US.
In a statement Friday, Nehlen said, “Mr. Trump’s early refusal to endorse Ryan is a clear signal to Wisconsin voters that Ryan is not his preferred candidate in this race.”
Trump’s initial refusal to endorse Ryan was the latest wrinkle in their tenuous relationship. Trump’s reticence echoed the same hesitation Ryan expressed when Trump locked up the party’s presidential nomination in May. At the time, Ryan had said, “I’m not there right now,” in an interview on CNN.
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