Ryan isn't decided on Trump

Paul Ryan (Reuters)
Paul Ryan (Reuters)

Paul Ryan, the top US elected Republican, is continuing to withhold his support from Donald Trump for the Republican Party's presidential nomination, saying he is not ready to endorse the real estate billionaire, a political neophyte.

Ryan, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Wednesday brushed aside reports that he was ready to endorse Trump during a meeting with reporters in the Capitol.

"I haven't made a decision," he said, adding that he had no timetable for doing so.

The 46-year-old speaker is the only member of the Republican congressional leadership who has not formally embraced the presumptive Republican nominee.

Ryan is expected to chair the party's nominating convention in July in Cleveland.

Trump's ascent has shaken the party establishment and raised concerns among some Republicans over whether they can unify behind him, given his harsh rhetoric and shifting policy positions in a brutal primary fight that once had 17 candidates.

Ryan was asked on Wednesday about Trump's comment this week that New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez, who had declined to attend a Trump rally, was not doing her job.

Ryan said Martinez was a "great governor" and "a friend of mine." and said he would leave it at that.

Ryan said his staff and Trump's were in contact virtually daily.

"I want this to be a sincere deliberative process," Ryan said. He dismissed suggestions that the Trump campaign was trying to pressure him, saying, "I don't worry about that stuff."

The speaker faces pressure from inside his party to smooth things over and form a united front against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November.

Ryan's statement earlier this month that he was not ready to support Trump was unusual and seen as an effort to keep some distance from Trump and protect Ryan's own presidential prospects for 2020.