Is Paul Ryan helping Hillary Clinton’s campaign? His primary challenger thinks so

After a Republican National Convention aimed at uniting the Grand Ol’ Party, Donald Trump opted to not endorse Speaker Paul Ryan in his bid for re-election telling the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker that, “he’s not quite there yet.” The other half of Trump’s presidential ticket, Gov. Mike Pence, on the other hand, broke with Trump Wednesday coming out with a full-fledged endorsement of the Speaker of the House.

“I never said I’d support [Ryan]. I’m giving it very serious consideration,” Trump added. “I like Paul. I like Paul. But these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there. I’m not quite there yet.”

Ryan’s campaign was quick to fire back, releasing a statement to reporters insisting “neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump’s endorsement.”

Shortly after, reports surfaced claiming Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is “apoplectic” over Trump’s lack of support for the highest ranking Republican. Per NBC News, Priebus expressed his “extreme displeasure” during calls to several Trump staffers, including to campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Trump went a step further in not only refusing to endorse, but also took the time to praise Ryan’s primary challenger Paul Nehlen for running “a very good campaign obviously.” He also thanked Nehlen for his support on Twitter.

Nehlen has been incredibly active in his defense of Trump, taking opportunities to criticize Ryan’s lukewarm support of the party’s nominee.

“Speaker Ryan should be reporting in kind contributions for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Every opportunity he gets, he’s sticking it into Mr. Trump,” Nehlen told Stephen K. Bannon Tuesday.  “[Ryan] is a soulless globalist from the Democrat wing of the UniParty.”

On August 9th, Wisconsinites in 1st congressional district will head to the polls to choose between re-nominating Ryan or shocking the political world by selecting Nehlen (for context, the most recent polling conducted by WFB/Vox Populi in May had Ryan up by 73 points).

With less than a week until election day, Nehlen doesn’t seem to be slowing down, trying to make his case to Wisconsin voters and creating a clear contrast between himself and Ryan.

“Paul Ryan is the most open borders, anti-worker, pro-Wall Street member of Congress on either side of the aisle,” Nehlen told Andrew Wilkow Tuesday. “Paul Ryan is [the Koch Brothers] operative in Congress… it’s absolutely a corrupt system.”

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