Last night and again this morning there were indications around the DC water cooler that the big standoff was ending and Paul Ryan was about to endorse Donald Trump for President. How do we know this? Because Trump’s campaign said so, of course. (ABC News)
Senior level Trump campaign sources confirm to ABC News that Speaker Paul Ryan will be endorsing presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
It’s unclear when the endorsement will take place, but Ryan has a briefing on the House GOP agenda scheduled later today in Washington.
One thing missing from this report is… names. Now, if there were someone inside the Speaker’s office who was speaking on condition of anonymity I could see it. That happens on a regular basis on the hill when staffers want to get something out as a trial balloon or simply feel like doing a favor for a media contact. But there’s also nobody on the record from Trump’s campaign? Generally the only struggle you have with The Donald’s team is getting people to stop talking. If they had anything solid on this – even if Ryan wanted it kept under wraps – it would be more shocking if Trump himself wasn’t tweeting it out every five minutes.
Still, that doesn’t mean we should discount the story entirely. Bloomberg just reported that Paul Ryan’s office has been indicating that there’s some form of detente on the horizon.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has begun telling confidants that he wants to end his standoff with Donald Trump in part because he’s worried the split has sharpened divisions in the Republican Party, according to two people close to the lawmaker.
Ryan aides say nothing has been decided about a possible Trump endorsement. But Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a small group of Republican lawmakers Thursday that he expects Ryan to endorse the party’s nominee as early as this week, according to two people in the meeting.
That’s more the sort of release that I’d expect to see coming out of the Speaker’s office. The idea that Ryan would like to see an end to hostilities and some unification heading into the general election isn’t news to anyone. That’s the goal. The problem we have is how to get from where we are now to that eventual alignment. And for what it’s worth, I expect that it’s going to happen well in advance of the big shindig in Cleveland. But clearly Ryan needs some time to make it obvious to everyone that he still has reservations and policy differences with the presumptive nominee. In the end, though, he can “agree to disagree” on some points while emphasizing the need to consolidate the troops against Hillary Clinton.
As to the leak about the actual endorsement coming this week, if Bloomberg is correct and it came from Manafort, that was probably just a fast jab to make some headlines for Tuesday. You can expect the endorsement to come, but it will be on Paul Ryan’s schedule, not Trump’s.