Donald Trump and Paul Ryan to meet amid escalating tensions


Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan will meet next week to clear the air and possibly unify the divided party.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told Fox News’ Sean Hannity about the scheduled meeting just hours after Ryan — the nation’s highest-ranking Republican — revealed Thursday that he was not ready to endorse Trump’s White House run at this time.

“Both Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are meeting next week to talk about these things,” Priebus said to the Fox News host. “I think it’s going to work out, but you know in some cases people are not going to be instantly on board. And I know that can be frustrating for some people.”

Priebus said that the contentious GOP primary might delay the unification process, but added that he thinks Republicans will ultimately come together and “fall in line.”

“I don’t think anybody expected this to come to an end on Tuesday,” he said. “I think it’s going to take some time for some people to come to grips and to get to know Donald Trump.”

An incredulous Hannity fired back that the Republican primary has been “going on a year” and said that conservatives should be well acquainted with Trump at this point.

“Well, an endorsement is a full embrace so for some people it takes a little bit of time,” Priebus said.

On Thursday, Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he was not yet ready to support Trump, despite having said for months that he would back the eventual nominee.

Ryan said Trump should be congratulated for his success so far, but the House speaker is not fully convinced the real estate magnate and reality TV star will advance the principles of the GOP.


House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are not yet on the same page. (Photos: Richard Drew/AP, Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

“He needs to be congratulated for a enormous accomplishment, for winning now a plurality of delegates, and now he’s on his way to winning a majority of delegates,” Ryan said. “He also inherited something very special — that’s very special to a lot of us.”

Trump took issue with Ryan’s choice of the word “inherited.”

“Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong, I didn’t inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!” he fired back on Twitter.

The Trump campaign also released a statement saying he is not ready to support “Speaker Ryan’s agenda.”

“Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people,” it reads. “They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!”

Trump campaign sources told Politico that they were shocked by Ryan’s interview — in part because they had invited the speaker to meet Trump to discuss the upcoming general election and the party’s agenda, but they never heard back.

The brash billionaire also made headlines on Thursday for tweeting a photo of himself preparing to eat a taco bowl. “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” the caption reads.

Priebus was asked to respond to the tweet Friday morning during Politico’s “Playbook Breakfast.” As some in the crowd laughed, he looked down at the floor and said, “He’s trying. Honestly, he’s trying and I’ll tell you what. I honestly think he understands that building and unifying and growing the party is the only way we’re going to win.”

On Friday afternoon, a Ryan spokesman confirmed that the House speaker plans to meet Trump next Thursday.

“The speaker will meet with Donald Trump next Thursday morning at the RNC,” Chief Communications Advisor Brendan Buck tweeted.

See the graphic: Where the Republican Party stands on Trump >>>