House Speaker Paul Ryan has had a long year with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump guilted Ryan into an endorsement and praised his 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.
After a controversial hot mic recording of a vulgar 2005 conversation involving Trump was released on Friday, leading to a rare apology from the candidate, Ryan cancelled what would have been the pair’s first joint campaign event.
Ryan held a conference call on Monday to talk to Republicans in the House of Representatives about the next step.
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 will also no longer campaign with Trump.
Another series of audio clips, focusing on various interviews between Trump and radio shock jock Howard Stern, have also been released. The candidate spoke vividly on his sexual activities, including infidelity, as well as his fascination with his daughter Ivanka.
Several Republican politicians retracted their endorsements, called for Trump to drop out, or refused to defend his comments (including his own vice presidential pick) after they resurfaced. Even campaign surrogate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Trump was describing sexual assault.
The Hill compiled a thorough list of the Republicans who have pulled their support or asked Trump to step aside.
(H/T: The Hill)