Presidential races

Ryan plans to speak with Trump about GOP agenda

Paul Ryan’s team has been in contact with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign to discuss the party’s agenda going into the November elections, the Speaker’s office says.

Ryan (R-Wis.) is also expected to communicate with the rest of the presidential field as the GOP prepares to unveil an official policy platform this spring. 

“We have heard from the campaign, but the two have not yet spoken. We expect the Speaker to be in touch with all the remaining candidates soon to discuss our efforts to build a bold conservative policy agenda for 2017,” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said.

{mosads}Trump’s campaign declined to confirm the communication. Spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the campaign does not “comment on private conversations.”

The outreach comes as GOP lawmakers are split over whether to get behind the controversial businessman, with a handful opting to endorse Trump over the last week and others pledging never to vote for him.

Ryan, who as Speaker will be co-chairing the GOP’s nominating convention in July, has said he will support whoever emerges as the nominee.

But he has rebuked Trump twice in recent months in high-profile fashion. The first was to condemn the real estate mogul’s proposal in December to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., which Ryan said was “not conservatism.”

And on Tuesday morning, as 11 states were preparing to vote in GOP contests for Super Tuesday, Ryan denounced Trump for declining to disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. 

“I try to stay out of the ups and downs of the primary, but I’ve also said when I see something that runs counter to who we are as a party and a country, I will speak up,” he told reporters at a Capitol press conference. “If a person wants to be the nominee of the party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry.

“I hope this is the last time I have to speak out on this race,” Ryan added.

During a press conference on the night of his victories on Super Tuesday, Trump said he didn’t know the Speaker well but expected they’d get along.

But, Trump added, “If I don’t, he’s going to have to pay a big price.”

Tags Donald Trump Paul Ryan

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