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Donald Trump endorsed Paul Ryan on Friday night, after refusing to back the speaker’s reelection bid earlier this week. 

“This campaign is not about me or any one candidate, it’s about America,” Trump said, although he did not immediately launch into his message of support.

“I understand and embrace the wisdom of Ronald Reagan’s big tent within the party,” he continued, acknowledging that he’ll need support in the House and Senate to get his agenda accomplished if elected. “So I embrace the wisdom that my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.”

After a few minutes, Trump then uttered the magic words: “In our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.”

The mogul’s backing came at a rally in Green Bay, Wis., less than a week before Ryan faces a primary challenger whom has Trump praised, though Ryan appears to have little to worry about in the Tuesday race with businessman Paul Nehlen.

A new independent poll released on Friday showed Ryan leading Nehlen 80 percent to 14 percent. And ahead of Friday evening’s endorsement, Nehlen released a statement praising Trump’s “display of leadership” — and slamming Ryan’s failure to unify the GOP. 

Though Trump endorsed him, it was reported that Ryan, Gov. Scott Walker and other top Wisconsin Republicans decided not to appear with the GOP nominee on Friday evening.

But Nehlen tweeted that he was there to support the party’s nominee.

 {mosads}The endorsement of Ryan follows days of mounting criticism from GOP leaders, after Trump refused Tuesday to say he’d support Ryan or Sen. John McCain.

“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” the GOP presidential nominee told The Washington Post. “We need very strong leadership … and I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

Trump’s language was an apparent allusion to a May interview, conducted right after Trump became the party’s presumptive nominee, in which Ryan said he was not ready to support him for president. 

“To be perfectly candid with you … I’m just not ready to do that at this point,” the Speaker said at the time.

The endorsement is a sign that the GOP nominee’s campaign is working to right the ship after a rough two weeks.

In the Tuesday interview, Trump also declined to offer support for McCain and vulnerable Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) — both of whom have distanced themselves from the mogul.

On Friday, Trump reversed course, saying he fully supports their reelection bids too. 

It all follows a tense period between the nominee and leaders of his party. 

Trump became the center of a firestorm during the Democratic convention last week, when he called on Russian agents to obtain the 30,000 missing messages Hillary Clinton deleted from her private email server. Critics charged he was inviting a hostile foreign power to steal sensitive information, and his comments set off a round of scrutiny over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

He stumbled again by picking a fight with the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in 2004. 

Khan’s father criticized Trump pointedly during a speech at the Democratic convention and the candidate shocked Republican lawmakers and strategists by firing back at the Khan family, instead of keeping his focus on Clinton.

Ryan responded to the uproar with a Sunday statement that did not mention Trump by name, but blasted his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and praised the Khan family.

That was followed by the Tuesday interview in which Trump refused to support Ryan’s reelection.

His running mate, Mike Pence, sought to ease tensions Wednesday by “strongly” endorsing Ryan.

And Trump seemed to move closer on Thursday, calling Ryan “a good guy,” and adding that Pence had his blessing to support the Speaker.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton John McCain Kelly Ayotte Mike Pence Paul Nehlen Paul Ryan Paul Ryan

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