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