Paul Ryan 'Encouraged' After Meeting With Donald Trump, but Still Won't Endorse Him
House Speaker Paul Ryan has still not endorsed Donald Trump following their Thursday morning summit in Washington.
Ryan spoke to reporters in the House of Representatives press room. He was there to discuss proposed new legislation to combat America's heroin and opioid epidemic, but there was no way to avoid the topic of the Trump meeting.
"I think it was a very encouraging meeting," Ryan said when he fielded questions from reporters. "Look, it is no secret that Donald Trump and I have our differences. We talked about those differences today."
Ryan refused to go into specifics of their gathering and has still not backed the real estate tycoon, but he told reporters: "I was very encouraged from what I heard from Donald Trump today."
He called Trump "warm" and "genuine" and added he "had a very good personality."
While he did not go into details, Ryan did declare that this was the first in a series of summits he would be having with the GOP frontrunner.
Following the meeting, the Speaker of the House and the billionaire released a joint statement:
"The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents. That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall. With that focus, we had a great conversation this morning.
"While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.
"We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party’s history. This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification."
After the session between Trump, Ryan and top members of the GOP, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said it was “a very positive step toward party unity" in a tweet.
The meeting was great. It was a very positive step toward party unity.— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 12, 2016
Trump first met with Ryan and Priebus Thursday morning and later sat down with other members of House Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise.
Trump will have a separate gathering with Senate GOP leaders on Thursday afternoon.
Last week, Ryan said he was not ready to fully endorse the presumptive Republican White House nominee.
Ahead of Thursday morning’s anticipated conference, Ryan told reporters Wednesday: “To pretend we’re unified as a party after coming through a very bruising primary, which just ended like a week ago, to pretend we’re unified without actually unifying, then we go into the fall at half strength.”
He added: “This election is too important... That means that we need a real unification of our party. Which, look, after a tough primary that’s going to take some effort.”
Ryan was the vice presidential pick for GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 race for the White House, losing to President Obama and Vice President Biden.
While currently the highest-ranking Republican to decline to back Trump, Ryan is not the first.
The two most recent Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, have vowed to not attend July's RNC convention, where Trump is all but assured to win the nomination.