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Paul Ryan had the Worst Week in Washington

Paul Ryan (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It's a week like this one that makes you understand why Paul Ryan really didn't want to be Speaker of the House.

With Donald Trump's nomination now a certainty, Ryan faced increasing pressure from all sides of the GOP to get behind a man with whom he shares almost nothing in common other than the fact that they both are Republicans -- and Trump barely even that.

When you are the top-ranking and most visible Republican in Washington, you don't get to take a pass -- as Ryan clearly would have rather done -- on publicly supporting (or not) your party's nominee.

And so, Ryan penned an op-ed in his hometown Janesville Gazette announcing that he would vote for Trump -- the word "endorse" was not mentioned -- in November. Ryan tweeted a link to that op-ed Thursday afternoon just minutes after Hillary Clinton had begun a much-hyped and much-covered speech savaging Trump on his alleged lack of foreign policy vision or credentials.

The timing of the tweet was entirely purposeful. Ryan hoped it might be drowned out by Clinton; yet more evidence of the lukewarm nature of the Wisconsin Republican's decision to get behind Trump.

In explaining why he did what he did, Ryan sounded both vaguely apologetic and overly optimistic -- insisting that Trump would adopt and push the House GOP agenda if elected while ignoring the fact that Trump makes and breaks promises as a matter of course and seems primarily only interested in promoting all things Trump.

Within 24 hours of his Trump endorsement, Ryan was reminded of why he had taken so long to get behind his party's presumptive nominee. Following Trump's insistence that the judge in a lawsuit involving Trump University was biased against him because of his proposal to build a wall along the southern border, Ryan quickly condemned those remarks.

“It’s reasoning I don’t relate to,” Ryan said during an interview with a local radio station. “I completely disagree with the thinking behind that.”

For Ryan, it was a preview of his next five months: Trying like hell to build out a positive GOP message while being forever side-tracked by the whirlwind that is Trump. Five months of having to answer for -- or apologize for -- every controversial comment out of the mouth of a man who represents the opposite of everything Ryan believes about the GOP and its future.

For that alone, Paul Ryan had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Each week, I award the worst week in Washington to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. You can check out previous winners or e-mail me with candidates. 

What the scene looked like as Trump met with Republican leaders

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WASHINGTON, DC - Protestors and media gather at the National Republican Headquarters on Capitol Hill where Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are meeting in Washington DC on Thursday May 12, 2016. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
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