House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Thursday he won’t follow calls from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to “just please be quiet.”
Ryan said in a press conference on Capitol Hill that he will continue to speak up when he disagrees with his party’s candidate, who has caused controversy with his renewed calls to ban Muslims from coming to the U.S. in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando.
“You can’t make this up sometimes. I’ll just say we represent a separate but equal branch of government,” Ryan told reporters, acknowledging that Trump was unconventional. “He’s a different kind of candidate. This is a different kind of year. I’m going to be myself.”
Ryan said that people could lose their freedoms “if we don’t defend separation of powers.”
Never miss a local story.
Trump has struggled to unite the Republican Party behind his unorthodox candidacy and has expressed frustration the party elite has yet to coalesce unconditionally behind him. Trump said Wednesday at a campaign rally he may be forced to wage the campaign on his own, sentiment his campaign co-chair Sam Clovis echoed Thursday morning on CNN.
"Either they want to get behind the presumptive nominee who will be the nominee of this party and make sure that we do everything we can to win in November or we're just asking them if they can't do that, then just shut the hell up," Clovis said of the Republican establishment. "That's what we're asking them to do."
Ryan has endorsed Trump but has not hesitated to publicly disagree with some of his policies. When asked if he’d reconsider the endorsement, the House Republican seemed to indicate Thursday that despite those differences it was unlikely he would withdraw his support.
The House speaker also made a point to offer the last question in his press conference to the Washington Post, which Trump banned earlier this week from officially covering his campaign.