Donald Trump announced today that he is not yet endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan or Sen. John McCain in their re-election bids — despite pubic endorsements from both men, according to a published report.
“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump said. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”
Ryan's primary is next Tuesday and Trump said he is giving the endorsement "very serious consideration."
A spokesperson for the Ryan campaign said today that "neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump's endorsement," adding that they "are confident in a victory next week regardless."
Since then, Ryan said he would vote for Trump and has urged party unity.
Notably it is Ryan's opponent, businessman Paul Nehlen, who has garnered praise from Trump; he said Nehlen is running "a very good campaign." Adding further insult to injury,
Trump's choice of words hearken back to Ryan's own hesitancy to endorse Trump.
"I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now," said in May, before eventually backing Trump the following month.
Trump also refused to endorse McCain, who is facing a heated three-way primary at the end of August.
"I haven’t endorsed John McCain," Trump said. "He has not done a good job for the vets and I’ve always felt that he should have done a much better job for the vets."
It is not the first time Trump has tangled with McCain. Trump ignited a firestorm last year by criticizing the veteran's capture in Vietnam. Most recently, the five-term senator released a lengthy statement rebuking Trump for his critical comments about the parents of fallen soldier Capt. Humayun Khan.