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Paul Ryan: If Donald Trump asks, I’ll step down as co-chair of Republican National Convention

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) answers questions during his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Ryan touched on a range of issues during his remarks including the recent performance of the U.S. economy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan would back out of chairing the Republican National Convention in July, if Donald Trump asks him to, his office confirmed Monday.

Ryan first made the comments to a home-town paper, telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention.”

The two are set to meet Thursday in Washington, after Ryan told CNN last week he was “just not ready” to throw support behind Trump, after rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich both suspended their campaigns making Trump the presumptive Republican nominee.

Trump said the speaker’s comments “blindsided” him.

Trump responded with a statement saying he wasn’t “ready” to embrace Ryan’s agenda.

Ryan repeated that he did not rule out supporting Trump in the future, but had concerns he wanted addressed first.

“I never said never. I just said (not) at this point,” Ryan told the Journal Sentinel. “I just want to get to know the guy … We just don’t know each other.”

And Ryan said that he wasn’t in the camp pushing for a third-party candidate to run against Trump.

That “would be a disaster for our party,” Ryan told the Journal Sentinel. “I have communicated that to plenty of people.”

Ryan is scheduled to preside over the GOP convention in Cleveland in July as part of his role as House speaker. He said even though he’s not ready to back Trump, he would continue to fill that role regardless.

One of Trump’s highest profile surrogates, Sarah Palin, announced on Sunday that she would back Ryan’s primary challenger in Wisconsin.

“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor,” Palin said, referring to the former Republican House majority leader who was ousted in a shocking upset in his 2014 Virginia primary race.

Asked about Palin’s comments on CNN, Trump called Palin “very much a free agent” and said he wasn’t aware of her plans to back Ryan’s opponent.

3 comments

  • Al P

    With an attitude like Ryan’s he should give up his Speaker of the House position also. Why doesn’t he understand that the American public is FED-UP with establishment do nothing Republicans including himself. The American voters have spoken, maybe Paul should start listening.

  • Cj

    The parties on both sides bite for America. Republicans have no recourse, no answer of whom to put in office & the congress doesn’t care about our growing debt. Yes, we the people know USA should be financially responsible as they are not.

  • David John Francis

    The Generals have spoken out the perilous reduction in the US Army, and the potential President, Donald Trump having pledged over and over again that with the change in the White House he will rebuild our military so no other country will dare test our an awesome power and strength in peace and we will once again become a formidable ally to those who stand with us. The cuts, many made as part of “sequestration,” put the United States at risk in the fight against terrorism. Both the Democrats and Republicans inherit the blame and will be held accountable?
    While our nation has these large reductions in our armed services, The Center for Immigration Studies released a new study showing that households headed by an immigrant uses on average around $6,234 in welfare benefits, a 41% increase compared to households headed by a American. The study used information from the Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which is a survey used by the government that provides the most accurate picture of welfare utilization.
    CIS’s Executive Director, Mark Krikorian, explained that, “Immigrants are such heavy users of welfare not because they don’t work, but because, on average, they have little education and thus earn low wages. If we continue to permit large numbers of less-educated people to move here from abroad, we have to accept that there will be huge and ongoing costs to taxpayers.” The CIS study also found that:
    The average immigrant household (legal or illegal) consumes 33% more in cash welfare, 57% more in food assistance, and 44% more in Medicaid dollars than native households.
    Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (collected largely on behalf of their U.S.- anchor baby children) while legal immigrant households cost taxpayers around $6,378 per year. Largely by estimate Obama is costing US taxpayers $113 Billion a year with his illegal executive agenda, when these same hard-to-come-by dollars should be spent on the defense of our sovereign nation.
    By the authority of President Obama’s leadership, the size of the U.S. Army has shrunk by thousands — and new report has confirmed that it became the smallest it has been in 76 years this March.
    “The Army’s latest headcount shows that nearly 2,600 soldiers departed active service in March without being replaced, an action that plunges deployment to its lowest level since before World War II. During the past year the size of the active force has been reduced by 16,548 soldiers, the rough equivalent of three brigades,” The Army Times reported
    That puts the U.S. Army’s manpower total at 479,172 active duty soldiers — the smallest amount since 1940’s 269,023 soldiers, before the United States entered World War II.
    This manpower shortage has Army leadership worried about the state of readiness of our defense. And that’s just the beginning.
    “Without congressional or Defense Department intervention, the drawdown will continue for two more years, with end strength hitting 460,000 soldiers in 2017, and 450,000 in 2018,” according to The Army Times report.
    The plan for this steady force reduction was first announced in July 2015. And if those numbers are hit, it would mean a 20 percent reduction in the Army’s manpower from its peak of over 570,000 in 2010.
    In April, “Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley sounded the alarm that the US Army is currently in a state of ‘high risk’ when it comes to being ready enough to defend the nation and respond to a large conflict,” the Military Times reported.
    Gen. Daniel Allyn, vice chief of staff of the Army, echoed opinion to Fox News, saying “These are not cuts the Army wants to make, these are cuts required by budget environment in which we operate,” and that, “This 40,000 soldier cut… will only get us to the program force, it does not deal with the continued threat of sequestration.
    In this unsavory time of the rise of ISIL (ISIS) our country is in a very dangerous position, with these massive reductions in our army recruitment. The Navy as of 2015, the number of active ships stood at 272, which is the lowest since 1916. Since President Obama took office. Our naval capabilities are aging and inadequate to meet our national security demands. The Air Force fields the smallest and oldest force of combat aircraft in its history. The Marines are running only about two-thirds the number of battalions they have historically needed to meet day-to-day operational demands.
    The president also deferred and under-funded existing programs, most notably the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. Meanwhile, in a goodwill attempt with Russia, he pulled the plug on planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, simultaneously alienating those allies while displaying a growing weakness of our readiness to the Kremlin.
    The danger from ISIS is growing as a year ago Judicial Watch reported on an ISIS camp in this exact area, just a few miles from El Paso. JW’s April 14, 2015 report identified Anapra as the location of the ISIS base, details that were provided to JW by sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector. Anapra is situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. At the time JW reported that another ISIS cell was established to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas to target the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming. Sources told JW that, during the course of a joint operation, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division.
    Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation. Earlier this year, as part of an ongoing investigation into national security risks in the porous southern border, JW obtained evidence that proves the U.S. government has known for more than a decade about the partnership between terrorists and Mexican drug cartels. The top Al Qaeda leader in Mexico was identified in the September 2004 cable from the American consulate in Ciudad Juárez as Adnan G. El Shurkrjumah. The cable was released to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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