Follow your conscience on Donald Trump, Ryan to Republicans


paul ryan
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan. [Photo/Courtesy]

Republican lawmakers should follow their conscience on whether to support Donald Trump in November’s presidential election, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview that aired on Sunday (June 19), reflecting the party’s unease over its White House candidate.

“The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience. Of course I wouldn’t do that,” the Republicans’ most senior elected official told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.

Some Republican leaders and lawmakers in the House of Representatives are struggling to get behind the New York businessman, who last month became the party’s presumptive nominee for the Nov. 8 election.

In response, Trump told a reporter for the same program that he could win the Republican nomination with or without the support of the party establishment.

“I obviously won the primaries without them,” he said while campaigning in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday (June 18). “I do believe that we can win either way, but it would be nice if we stuck together.”

After an initial delay, Ryan has said he will back Trump but he has also acknowledged deep differences with him. He denounced as textbook racism Trump’s criticism of a Mexican-American judge and has also criticized Trump’s proposal – reiterated after the massacre of 49 people in a gay bar in Orlando on Sunday – to temporarily bar Muslims from the United States.

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