Early this morning, reports emerged that Ryan was planning, after weeks of thumb-twiddling, to kiss the ring and endorse Trump. Bloomberg reported that Ryan had begun to believe that his cautious approach to Trump was dividing the party and that he would do the right thing to end the “impasse.” ABC reported the same thing.
But it soon became apparent that Ryan was not planning on doing anything, and that the sources for these stories were coming from Trump’s office. Ryan’s spokesperson quickly issued a denial. “There’s no update and we’ve not told the Trump campaign to expect an endorsement,” the spokesman told ABC. “He’s also not told anyone he regrets anything.”
So what’s going on here? It seems like Trump’s camp is sick of waiting for Ryan. Forcing Ryan to deny that he’s endorsing Trump puts the spotlight back on him, and increases pressure from the anti-free trade, anti-immigrant, Tea Party-aligned factions of the party that want this dorky motorcycle man to replace him in Congress. Ryan’s endorsement is probably inevitable—ironically, stunts like this will likely increase the wait—but for now, at least, Trump and Ryan are still at odds.