Two prominent House allies of Paul Ryan broke with the speaker Friday over his decision to withhold support from Donald Trump, comments that point to a growing split among congressional Republicans over how to deal with the presumptive nominee.
Reps. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia and Dennis Ross of Florida — who, as House whips, help Republican leaders muster support to pass legislation — told POLITICO in interviews on Friday that they disagreed with Ryan’s decision to break with Trump in a bombshell interview a day earlier. Both lawmakers said they believe their leader is in denial about how Republican voters feel about the real-estate tycoon.
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“I honestly don’t understand what Paul’s thinking — I don’t get it,” said Westmoreland, who is retiring after this year. “I try not to give advice to the speaker, but I think it just really brought about, in my opinion, even more confusion to this thing.”…
Westmoreland wishes Ryan had been more subtle. “He could have come out and said, ‘Look, I’ll be 100 percent behind whomever comes out of our convention,’ and that would have been a simple way of saying: ‘I’m not endorsing Trump right now,’” he said.