Likely Republican nominee Donald Trump disagrees with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's characterization of a conversation they had on Thursday about House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) not yet being ready to support Trump.
Priebus says that within minutes of Ryan telling CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that he is “not there right now” with Trump, the presumptive nominee called the party leader and wanted to know what he needed to do. Priebus has agreed to arrange a meeting between Trump and Ryan for next week and said Friday morning that he expects the speaker to eventually support Trump but wants to first work through some issues.
“It wasn't like furious or anything; it was just like, ‘What do I need to do?’" Priebus said at a Politico Playbook Breakfast on Friday morning. "And so I said, ‘Listen — my view is just relax and be gracious, and I will talk to Paul and we will try to work on this.'"
That's not what Trump remembers happening.
"I told Reince that I thought it was totally inappropriate what Paul Ryan said and thought it was good for me politically," Trump said in a statement early Friday afternoon ahead of a political rally in Nebraska. "But Reince feels, and I'm okay with that, that we should meet before we go our separate ways. So I guess the meeting will take place and who knows what will happen."
In the aftermath of Trump's two remaining rivals — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) — suspending their campaigns, Priebus has called for the party to rally behind Trump. A number have followed that direction, but others have kept quiet or held out, including Ryan, who is close with Priebus. Trump expects to meet with Ryan on Wednesday, he said on the Fox News Channel on Friday.
Ryan's office said in a statement that the speaker has invited Trump to meet with members of the House Republican leadership in Washington on Thursday morning "to begin a discussion about the kind of Republican principles and ideas that can win the support of the American people this November." Ryan also plans to meet separately with Trump and Priebus.
Trump has said that he will not back away from the controversial stances he took during the primary process, including a call for a temporary ban on allowing most foreign Muslims into the country. He has said that while he wants to unite the party, he knows that he won't win everyone over.
"I am confident that I can unite much of it. Some of it, I don't want. I mean, there were statements made about me that those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we serve two terms," Trump said on the "Today" show on Wednesday, the day after Cruz dropped out of the race. "But honestly, there are some people I really don't want. I don't think it is necessary. People will be voting for me, they're not voting for the party."
Sean Sullivan contributed to this report.