COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) – As Republican loyalists continue to flee, Donald Trump ignited new party tensions Tuesday by refusing to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan or Arizona Sen. John McCain, a remarkable display of party division just three months before Election Day.
The Republican presidential nominee told The Washington Post he’s “just not quite there yet,” when asked about an endorsement of Ryan, who faces a primary election next week. In doing so, he echoed the House speaker’s comments of almost three months earlier, when the Wisconsin congressman was initially reluctant to embrace Trump as his party’s standard bearer.
Trump’s statement comes amid intense fallout over his criticism of the family of the late Capt. Humayun Khan, a U.S. Army soldier who died in Iraq in 2004. Indeed, just two weeks after a Republican National Convention that tried to focus on party unity, the Trump-driven rifts inside the GOP appear to be intensifying.
On Tuesday, retiring New York Rep. Richard Hanna became the first Republican member of Congress to say he will vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in November instead of Trump.
“He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country,” Hanna wrote in a column published in The Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse, New York. “He is unrepentant in all things.”
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