Wednesday 7 December 2016

Congress's top Republican now admits Clinton a certainty to win White House

Published 11/10/2016 | 02:30

House Speaker Paul Ryan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
House Speaker Paul Ryan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the US Congress, took the extraordinary step yesterday of distancing himself from Donald Trump, deepening a crisis over his party's struggling presidential nominee.

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PAUL Ryan, the top Republican in the US Congress, took the extraordinary step yesterday of distancing himself from Donald Trump, deepening a crisis over his party's struggling presidential nominee.

Ryan all but conceded that the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would win the White House on November 8 and said he would put his full energy into preserving Republican majorities in Congress so as not to give her a "blank cheque".

The Irish-American speaker of the House of Representatives said he would not defend Trump nor campaign for him after the uproar over the New York businessman's sexually aggressive comments that surfaced on Friday.

Ryan's announcement added to the Republican Party's worst turmoil in decades and reinforced the growing sense of isolation around Trump, who has never previously run for public office.

Trump hit back at Ryan, who was the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2012 and who has frequently been critical of him. "Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Nevertheless, Ryan, who had expressed disgust over the tape and cancelled a campaign event with Trump at the weekend, did not completely cut his ties to Trump. The speaker went back on the Republican conference call later to clarify that he was not withdrawing his endorsement.

Irish Independent

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