Paul Ryan Still Not Ready to Endorse Donald Trump After Meeting
Trump's outreach is an attempt to bridge divide in the GOP.
— -- Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan described their meetings in Washington, D.C., today as a "positive step" toward unifying the Republican Party, even as Ryan again declined to endorse the New York billionaire.
The two men issued a joint statement calling for Republicans to "unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda and do all we can to win this fall."
"With that focus, we had a great conversation this morning. While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground,” Trump and Ryan said.
“We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.
"This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification.”
Trump tweeted after the meeting, saying things were "working out very well."
But the face-to-face meeting did not result in an endorsement from Ryan, the nation's top elected Republican official. Ryan, who said he was "encouraged" by their discussions, refrained from offering an endorsement of Trump when asked by ABC News' Jonathan Karl.
"It’s very important that we don’t fake unifying, we don’t pretend unification, that we truly and actually unify so we are full strength in the fall," Ryan said at a news conference after the meeting. "I don’t want us to have a fake unification process here."
Priebus tweeted about the first meeting after its conclusion, calling the visit a "positive step" in uniting the party.
The Republican presidential candidate then met with Ryan for a second time. The meeting included members of the House Republican leadership team.
The two men have only met one other time, crossing paths backstage at a 2012 fundraising event for the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, who is now one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s run for the White House.
Trump and Ryan also spoke on the phone briefly earlier this year about the House GOP’s election-year agenda, a conversation both men described as positive.
After his meetings with House leadership, Trump met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the GOP Senate leadership team at National Republican Senatorial Committee offices.
Anti-Trump and pro-Trump protesters gathered outside of the RNC during Trump's meetings with Speaker Ryan.
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