House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he is willing to step down from his role as chairman of the Republican National Convention if Donald Trump asks him to step aside. Ryan recently said he was not willing to endorse Trump at this time.
Ryan and numerous other conservatives in the Republican Party have failed to throw their support behind the party’s presumptive 2016 presidential nominee.
During an interview on Sunday, Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he wouldn’t rule out blocking Ryan from service as the chairman for the RNC in July.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that Ryan said in an interview, “He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention.”
“He said he would if he was asked to do so,” said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong, confirming that the speaker responded to a reporter’s question about whether he would step down on his own accord.
The chairman of the Republican National Convention is traditionally the highest ranking House Republican.
Ryan had previously pledged to back the eventual presidential nominee.
Trump plans to meet Thursday with Ryan and other House Republican leaders.
Republicans at all ranks of the GOP have been demanding that Trump fall more in line with their positions on trade, military intervention, and domestic spending, among other issues.
“I think this is a time for unity,” Trump said. “And if there’s not going to be unity, I think that’s OK, too. I mean, I’ll go out and I think I’ll do very well. I think I’m going to win the race either way.”
Ryan’s issues with Trump are still shrouded in mystery
During a newspaper interview on Monday, Ryan offered very few specifics about his concerns with the presumptive presidential candidate.
“I don’t want to have a conversation with Donald Trump through the media. I want to have a straight conversation with Donald Trump,” Ryan said.
“Let me say this, the man deserves a ton of credit for an amazing achievement, which is to bring millions of people into this party and to have a very impressive victory,” Ryan added. “At the same time we want to make sure we don’t pretend we’re unified and then go into the fall at half strength.”