NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign chairman is playing down a rift between the Republican nominee and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Paul Manafort acknowledged “a conflict within the Trump campaign” after vice presidential candidate Mike Pence endorsed Ryan a day after Trump declined to do so.


“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump told The Washington Post. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

Speaking in an interview on CBS This Morning on Thursday, Manafort said there was “no issue” about Trump’s current position on Ryan.

“He’s going to support Paul Ryan,” Manafort said. “I mean, he does support Paul Ryan. He said he’s going to work with Paul Ryan.”

Throughout the 2016 campaign season, Ryan has sometimes been outwardly critical of the GOP presidential nominee. However, Ryan did endorse Trump earlier this year, despite previous reservations.

Ryan is reaffirmed his support for Donald Trump Thursday while speaking on the “Jerry Bader Show” in Wisconsin.

Ryan brushed off Trump’s stance saying that the only endorsement he cares about is from voters in his congressional district,” Ryan said. “That’s what my focus is.”

“The only endorsement that I want are those of my own employers here in the first congressional district,” Ryan said.

But he also says that Trump “has had a pretty strange run since the convention. You would think we should be focusing on Hillary Clinton and all of her deficiencies.”

Ryan says it’s “distressing” that that’s not what the conversation is about.

Manafort also spoke of Pence’s relationship with Ryan, saying they were “close personal friends” and that Trump was aware of Pence’s relationship with the speaker.

When asked about his own personal political beliefs, Manafort declined to comment, saying that it is typical campaign practice not to get opinions involved while in his role as campaign chairman.

Manafort also commented on Trump’s recent drop in polls following the Democratic National Convention.

“The drop in poll numbers is expected,” Manafort said.

“We don’t plan on winning in August, we plan on winning in November,” Manafort added later. “And that will become evident as the campaign deploys.”

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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