GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday suggested that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would face consequences for not endorsing the businessman as the partyâ€™s presidential nominee.
Speaking with NBCâ€™s Chuck Todd, Trump would not rule out trying to remove the Wisconsin congressman from his post as chair of this summerâ€™s GOP convention, a role traditionally granted to the speaker of the House, if Ryan did not come around.
â€œIf he canâ€™t endorse you, do you think he should be chair of the Convention?â€ Todd asked.
â€œI donâ€™t want to mention it now. Iâ€™ll see after,â€ Trump said. â€œI will give you a very solid answer, if that happens, about one minute after that happens. Okay? But thereâ€™s no reason to give it right now. But Iâ€™ll be very quick with the answer. Letâ€™s see what happens.â€
The growing feud stems from Ryanâ€™s announcement Thursday that he is not prepared to endorse Trump for president, after his two remaining opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), exited the race and cleared the way for the real estate mogul to claim the nomination.
â€œIâ€™m just not ready to do that at this point. Iâ€™m not there yet,â€ Ryan said, adding that he hopes to endorse his partyâ€™s nominee but needs to be convinced that the GOP can elect a â€œstandard-bearer that bears our standards.â€
Trump responded with a statement saying he is â€œnot ready to support Speaker Ryanâ€™s agenda.â€
On Sunday, Trump told Todd that he felt like Ryan â€œblindsidedâ€ him.
â€œAll of a sudden, he gets on and he does this number. So Iâ€™m not exactly sure what he has in mind,â€ Trump said.
Ryan and Trump will meet on Capitol Hill this Thursday in an attempt to defuse tensions.
While Trump declined to issue a specific threat against Ryan, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), a Trump supporter, was more explicit, telling CNN on Sunday that she is backing Ryanâ€™s primary challenger in his upcoming House election.
â€œI think Paul Ryan is soon to be â€˜Cantored,â€™ as in Eric Cantor,â€ she told CNN, referring to the former Republican House majority leader who in 2014 unexpectedly lost his primary to tea party challenger Dave Brat.
She called Ryanâ€™s reluctance to support Trump â€œnot a wise decision.â€
Meanwhile, Trump said he was relatively unfazed by Ryanâ€™s statements because he expects the party to unite around him at the convention.
â€œI donâ€™t think it hurts me at all. And Iâ€™d like to have his support, but if he doesnâ€™t want to support me, thatâ€™s fine,â€ Trump said.
â€œLook, Iâ€™m going to get millions and millions of votes more than the Republicans would have gotten,â€ he continued. â€œIf you look at the numbers, I think right now, or I will be this week or next week, in the history of the Republican Party, nobody has ever gotten so many votes as I have. Iâ€™ve beaten Eisenhower and Nixon and Reagan and everybody. And we have a tremendous group of people thatâ€™s voting.â€