House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told his rank and file members on a conference call Monday that he is going to continue to support Donald Trump for president, but that he will not campaign with him.
Ryan told fellow Republicans about his decision in a conference call that was scheduled after a 2005 tape surfaced that included Trump crudely discussing how he grabbed women by the genitals.
According to a member who spoke with TPM on the condition of background, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) warned members that things were not moving in their direction at the moment. Ryan said it had been a turbulent month and that members should feel free to do what they thought was best to save their seats.
Ryan received criticism from members who accused him of wrongly ceding the election to Hillary Clinton, the member said.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) expressed a strong rebuke of Ryan," the member told TPM. Rohrabacher said he was dissapointed with the speaker for not doubling down on Trump. In all, the member said seven or eight Republicans spoke on the call to say they wanted the party to embrace Trump despite the tape.
Ryan reportedly had to get back on the call to reiterate his position that he was not actually unendorsing Trump.
After the tape came out, Ryan disinvited Trump from attending a rally in Wisconsin, which was supposed to be their first joint appearance together.
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