Poor, exhausted Paul Ryan would just like to enclose himself in a one-man tent somewhere deep in the woods and sleep for several weeks, waking only to lift something heavy, but instead he has to keep talking about Donald Trump. In a conference call today with the House GOP, he said Hillary Clinton is probably going to win and that he couldn’t “defend” Donald Trump, but also that he’s not pulling his endorsement.
The Associated Press reports that Ryan said on the call that he’s focused on defending the Republicans’ House majority, and that he won’t be campaigning with Trump. Do what’s in your heart, he told them:
One person involved in the call says Ryan has not withdrawn his support for Trump, but has said he won’t defend him, either. Instead, he’ll campaign for GOP congressional candidates.
Another says Ryan has told lawmakers that he won’t campaign with Trump. And he is advising GOP candidates “to do what’s best for you in your district.”
The AP also says that Ryan’s focus is on making sure Clinton doesn’t have a “blank check” as president, i.e. making it as hard as possible for her to govern:
And the Times’ Jonathan Martin says Ryan had to get back on the phone to placate angry Trump fans:
This would all be very funny if it were happening somewhere else.