GOP campaign chairman says he supports Trump
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the organization charged with electing House Republicans says he is backing Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE for president despite some disagreements with the GOP's presumptive nominee.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said in a statement Thursday that Trump is a more palatable alternative to Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE.

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“While I may disagree with the rhetoric Mr. Trump uses and some policy positions, he is the better option than Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Walden said. “That’s why all along I’ve said I intend to support the GOP nominee.”

“The last thing I want is to give the same Obama/Clinton/[Bernie] Sanders philosophy another four years in charge,” he added.

Walden’s statement in support of Trump comes more than a week after the real estate mogul won the Indiana primary, prompting his remaining two primary rivals, Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, to drop out.

Walden was not among the lawmakers in the meeting on Thursday morning with Trump at Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill.

Trump first met with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. That was followed by a second meeting with Ryan and members of the House GOP leadership, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), GOP conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Finance: Trump calls for ObamaCare mandate repeal, cuts to top tax rate | Trump to visit Capitol Hill in tax reform push | CBO can't do full score before vote | Bipartisan Senate bill would ease Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Regulation: Bipartisan Senate bill would curb Dodd-Frank rules | Opioid testing rule for transport workers finalized | Google faces state antitrust probe | Dems want investigation into FCC chief Trump to visit Capitol Hill amid tax-reform push MORE (Wash.) and Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (N.C.).

Ryan is still withholding an endorsement of Trump. But in a joint statement with the presumptive nominee after their meeting, the two said they “will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall.”

House Republicans up for reelection have taken a variety of positions on Trump based on their individual districts. Some have fully endorsed Trump, while others, such as centrist Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Bob Dold (Ill.), have said they’ll never vote for Trump in the general election.

Still others have said Trump needs to “earn" their vote or that they will “support the nominee” without endorsing him by name.

Walden offered his endorsement Thursday despite saying last year that Trump would be a liability to Republicans in House and Senate races. 

“It puts, certainly, competitive seats in jeopardy. We’ll have a much more difficult time,” Walden told Politico in December after Trump first proposed temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

Not all of Walden’s deputies at the NRCC have gotten behind Trump.

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), who’s serving as finance chairwoman for the 2016 cycle, declined to endorse Trump last week. 

She expressed disgust with the businessman's rhetoric in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I believe in calling people to their highest and best, not their lowest and least. And Donald Trump’s slurs and attacks, not only do I find them not presidential, I just don’t even find them suitable in society.”

Democrats made clear they’ll tie all House Republicans to the party's controversial standard-bearer.

“[N]o Republicans were able to stop Trump, and now Greg Walden has accepted the painful truth that House Republicans are running on the same ticket as Donald Trump, like it or not,” said Meredith Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Updated at 12:23 p.m.