Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wi)
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he will not endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The New York billionaire made the announcement in an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday.
He said he is “not quite there yet,” echoing a similar comment by Ryan, who said on May 6, "I'm not there right now" when asked about whether he would support Trump.
Trump’s comments were made a week before Ryan’s Wisconsin primary, in which the House speaker will face his underdog opponent, Paul Nehlen.
Trump endorsed Nehlen, arguing he runs “a very good campaign.”
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump signs autographs after holding a campaign rally on August 1, 2016 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. (AFP)
“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.”
His remarks signal the division within the party that seem not to have been resolved despite his nomination during the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier.
Ryan initially took issue with Trump after the real estate mogul called for a complete ban on Muslim immigrants entering the country.
The Ryan spokesman, Zack Roday, issued a statement in response to Trump’s Tuesday remarks, saying, "Neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump's endorsement. And we are confident in a victory next week regardless."
In regard to Nehlen, the GOP nominee said he is “a big fan of what I’m saying — big fan  his opponent, (Nehlen) who’s running a very good campaign, obviously, I’ve heard — his opponent sent me a very scholarly and well thought out letter yesterday and all I did was say thank you very much for your very nice letter. You saw my statement.”