'I never said never': US House Speaker Paul Ryan hints at support for Donald Trump

Washington: Softening his stance against Donald Trump, US House Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that he may back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee after getting to know him better.

"He (Trump) is the nominee. I'll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention," Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an interview on Monday.

Ryan, 46, is scheduled to meet Trump on Thursday.

This would be the first meeting between the two leaders after Trump emerged as the Republican presumptive nominee for the November election.



Last week, Ryan, the country's top Republican, told CNN that was not ready to back Trump. "I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now," Ryan had said.

During his stay in Washington, Trump would also meet other senior Republican leaders in the Congress.

In an interview to his hometown newspaper, Ryan said he never said that he will not support Trump.

"I never said never. I just said (not) at this point. I wish I had more time to get to know him before this happened. We just didn't. I just want to get to know the guy. We just don't know each other," Ryan said, adding that he wants to know Trump.

"I want to have a straight conversation with Donald Trump on behalf of the party (and) myself, too. 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. 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," Ryan said.

He also refuted reports that he had presidential ambitions.

"I would not have become speaker of the House if I had 2020 aspirations. If I really wanted to run for president, I could have run in 2012 and 2016. The speaker is not exactly a good steppingstone for president. I think people who know me know that is not my aspiration," he said.

"I want to help unify our party so that we're at full strength, so that we can defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe between now and July we will be able to figure out how to unify our party," Ryan added.

Updated Date: May 10, 2016 11:52 AM

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