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Donald Trump Won’t Endorse Paul Ryan or John McCain in Primaries: ‘I’m Not Quite There Yet’

August 2, 2016, 10:07 PM UTC
Republican Presidential Candidates Address 2015 Family Leadership Summit
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images

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Donald Trump won’t endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan or Sen. John McCain in their upcoming primary elections, saying on Tuesday that he is “not quite there yet” — an echo of Ryan’s earlier hesitation in announcing his support of Trump for president.

Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, told the Washington Post that he is refusing to back the Republican party’s highest-ranking elected official, who is seeking re-election in his Wisconsin Congressional district.

“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump told the newspaper. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

The comments follow Trump’s public praise Monday on Twitter of Ryan’s primary challenger, Paul Nehlen. The primary takes place next Tuesday.

Ryan has asked for Trump’s support, the real estate mogul told the Post. Trump said he is only “giving it very serious consideration.”

The House Speaker had previously told the newspaper that he was “not there yet” in terms of endorsing Trump before he finally decided to about a month later.

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Trump also said he is not supporting Sen. John McCain in his primary in Arizona. McCain slammed Trump for his ongoing feud with the family of a deceased Muslim U.S. soldier in a lengthy statement Monday.