Ryan’s announcement has added to the party’s worst crisis in decades. Photograph: (Getty)
Ryan said Clinton is likely to win the presidential race, but later clarified that he was not withdrawing his endorsement
Top Republican leader in the US congress, Paul Ryan,distanced himself from Donald Trump on Monday, risking a backlash from Republicans who are already deep in crisis over the presidential nominee’s lewd remarks controversy.
In a conference call with congressional Republicans, Ryan said that Democrat Hillary Clinton was likely to win the White House race and said he would put his full energy into preserving Republican majorities in Congress to avoid giving her her a "blank check.", Reuters reported.
Ryan,who is the speaker of the House of Representatives, said he would not defend Trump and won’t campaign for him after the outrage over the real estate magnate’s sexually aggressive comments that came to light on Friday.
Ryan also cancelled a campaign event with Trump but went back on the Republican conference call later to clarify that he was not withdrawing his endorsement.
Ryan’s announcement has added to the party’s worst crisis in decades.
Trump took to Twitter to hit back at Ryan, who was the vice-presidential candidate in 2012.
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2016
The House of Republicans scorned over Ryan’s call, according to some participants, Reuters reported
"There was an undeniable opposition to the speaker’s tepid support of our nominee,” Republican Scott DesJarlais, a Trump supporter, said, in a comment passed on by an aide.
Many lawmakers said that members frequently told Ryan on the call to stand by Trump, Reuters reported.
(WION with inputs from Reuters)