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 TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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 ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants 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 CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation 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 RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration 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 RodgersHillicon Valley: Republicans demand answers from mobile carriers on data practices | Top carriers to stop selling location data | DOJ probing Huawei | T-Mobile execs stayed at Trump hotel as merger awaited approval House Republicans question mobile carriers on data practices Washington governor announces killer whale recovery plan 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.