House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told his rank and file members on a conference call Monday that he is going to continue to support Donald Trump for president, but that he will not campaign with him.
Ryan told fellow Republicans about his decision in a conference call that was scheduled after a 2005 tape surfaced that included Trump crudely discussing how he grabbed women by the genitals.
According to a member who spoke with TPM on the condition of background, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) warned members that things were not moving in their direction at the moment. Ryan said it had been a turbulent month and that members should feel free to do what they thought was best to save their seats.
Ryan received criticism from members who accused him of wrongly ceding the election to Hillary Clinton, the member said.
RYAN getting pushback from angry members who believe his new posture will help elect Clinton, several people said. More on CNN now
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 10, 2016
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) expressed a strong rebuke of Ryan,” the member told TPM. Rohrabacher said he was dissapointed with the speaker for not doubling down on Trump. In all, the member said seven or eight Republicans spoke on the call to say they wanted the party to embrace Trump despite the tape.
Ryan reportedly had to get back on the call to reiterate his position that he was not actually unendorsing Trump.
After the tape came out, Ryan disinvited Trump from attending a rally in Wisconsin, which was supposed to be their first joint appearance together.
BREAKING: @SpeakerRyan tells House Rs he is NOT rescinding @realDonaldTrump endorsement for now, but won’t campaign with him either
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) October 10, 2016
Ryan reportedly told members that for the next month, he is going to be spending his time ensuring that his members win their re-elections and that each member should decide how best they can do that in their districts.
BREAKING– @SpeakerRyan tells house republicans he won’t defend trump and will focus the next 29 days on keeping the house majority.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 10, 2016
Just a few hours later, Trump took a swipe at Ryan.
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2016