Ryan invites Trump to meeting
© Getty Images

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE will meet with House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee works to unify a fractious party around him.

Ryan invited Trump to Capitol Hill a day after he stunned Republicans by saying that he wasn’t ready to endorse Trump.

“Having both said we need to unify the party, Speaker Ryan has invited Donald Trump to meet with members of the House Republican leadership in Washington on Thursday morning to begin a discussion about the kind of Republican principles and ideas that can win the support of the American people this November,” Ryan's political office said in a statement Friday afternoon.


Trump confirmed to The Washington Post that he would attend the meeting, but he seemed skeptical that it would amount to much. 

"I told Reince that I thought it was totally inappropriate what Paul Ryan said and thought it was good for me politically," Trump told the Post, referencing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. "But Reince feels, and I'm okay with that, that we should meet before we go our separate ways. So I guess the meeting will take place and who knows what will happen."

Ryan on Thursday said Trump must unify the GOP and bring back Republicans who are vowing to never vote for the real estate mogul.

“At this point, I think he needs to do more to unify this party, to bring all wings of this Republican Party together and then to go forward to appeal to all Americans in every walk of life, every background, a majority of independents and discerning Democrats,” Ryan said on CNN.

“I think conservatives want to know: Does he share our values and our principles on limited government, the proper role of the executive, adherence to the Constitution?”


His decision to avoid an endorsement represents a sharp break from Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHawley warns Schumer to steer clear of Catholic-based criticisms of Barrett Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' MORE (R-Ky.), who both threw their support behind Trump before Ryan’s comments.

It also has sparked fierce criticism from some of Trump’s supporters, from former Speaker Newt Gingrich to Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Trump was measured in his response to Ryan, saying he was not yet ready to support the “Ryan agenda.” But his surrogates have been tougher. One spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, said Friday that Ryan wasn’t fit to be Speaker if he was not behind Trump.

Trump will meet separately with Ryan and Priebus at the RNC’s Capitol Hill headquarters on Thursday. He will not be addressing the entire House GOP conference, as has been the norm with other presidential nominees, but he will have an additional meeting with House GOP leaders.

Trump’s campaign recently instituted weekly meetings with lawmakers whenever the House is in session to provide updates about strategy. But the gatherings over the last month or so have only included Trump’s top aides.

An appearance from the candidate himself is consequently sure to provoke a massive media circus outside the RNC’s headquarters.

In another jab at Ryan on Friday, Trump tweeted that he “won” the Republican Party.

“Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party,” Trump tweeted. “Wrong, I didn't inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!”