One day after withholding his endorsement, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is inviting presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump to meet with top Republican lawmakers in Washington in an effort to promote party unity.
The invitation for the May 12 meeting comes after Ryan said he was “not there yet” on endorsing Trump, and as many in the Republican Party are weighing how and whether to embrace its bombastic standard-bearer.
“Having both said we need to unify the party, Speaker Ryan has invited Donald Trump to meet with members of the House Republican leadership in Washington on Thursday morning to begin a discussion about the kind of Republican principles and ideas that can win the support of the American people this November,” a Ryan’s political office said in a statement. “The Speaker and Mr. Trump will also meet separately, along with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.”
In an interview with CNN on May 5, Ryan questioned Trump’s commitment to conservatism. “There are lots of questions that conservatives, I think, are going to want answers to, myself included,” the Speaker said. “I think what a lot of Republicans want to see is that we have a standard-bearer that bears our standards,” he added.
Trump fired back hours later saying he wasn’t ready to support Ryan’s agenda, and called Priebus within minutes of Ryan’s critical comments to express concern. Priebus himself said Friday that Trump would have to do more to win over the party, and cautioned him to change his tone to appeal to general election voters.
Republican officials believe that reconciliation between Ryan and Trump may take longer than a single meeting.