ABC News’ Tom Llamas interviewed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump just before a campaign event in Green Bay, Wis., on Monday evening. There, Llamas asked Trump a variety of questions about his controversies and his accusations of the election being “rigged.”
When asked if House Speaker Paul Ryan was “hurting” or “helping,” Trump replied (author emphasis added):
Maybe he wants to run in four years, or maybe he doesn’t know how to win. I mean, who can really know? But I know I’m in his territory, and they are all screaming for Trump. The head of the [state] Republican Party just left me. He shook my hand. He says, “You are going to win Wisconsin.” And I know one thing — we are going to do very well here.”
Trump was of the opinion that he did not have Ryan’s support because of personal reasons.
Following the release of a controversial hot mic recording of a vulgar 2005 conversation involving the candidate, Ryan cancelled what would have been the pair’s first joint campaign event. He advised Republicans in the House of Representatives over a conference call following the controversy.
Ryan said that he would not withdraw his endorsement. However, he would not defend the nominee either. He worried about keeping a majority in the House, saying, “You all need to do what’s best for you in your district.”
The House Speaker advised the representatives to fight the remainder of the race with regard to the best way to maintain their seats.
Ryan has had a long year with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump not only guilted Ryan into an endorsement, but also praised Ryan’s primary challenger. Ryan cited Trump’s behavior as one of the reasons why he was not ready to back Trump initially, and ended up spending his summer criticizing many of Trump’s statements as divisive. Ryan and others who endorsed Trump even considered an intervention at one point.