Speaking at a rally in Florida, Trump pointed to the fact that Ryan did not call him after Sunday’s debate to congratulate him on his performance as evidence of the conspiracy.
“Instead of calling me and saying, ‘Congratulations, you did a great job. You absolutely destroyed her in the debate like everybody said,’” he didn’t hear from Ryan at all, Trump said.
“So wouldn’t you think that Paul Ryan would call and say, ‘Good going?’ In front of just about the largest crowd for a second-night debate in the history of the country?” Trump asked the crowd. “So, you know, you’d think that they’d say: ‘Great going, Don. Let’s go. Let’s beat this crook. She’s a crook. Let’s beat her. We gotta stop it.’”
Ryan’s silence, he said, was proof that “there’s a whole deal going on there. I mean, you know, there’s a whole deal going on. We’re gonna figure it out, I always figure things out. But there’s a whole sinister deal going on.”
Trump’s obvious anger at feeling snubbed was palpable, but the notion that it was due to a backroom deal was pure fantasy. The reason Ryan pulled back his support for Trump had everything to do with the bombshell tape released on Friday, in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Following the tape’s release, the House speaker canceled a planned campaign appearance with Trump, and on Monday, he told his caucus he would no longer appear with Trump or defend him.
For Trump, however, Ryan’s decision was a searing betrayal. The nominee tweeted Tuesday that the speaker is a “weak and ineffective leader,” among other things. And he rallied his supporters Wednesday by portraying Ryan as their enemy.
“Already, the Republican nominee has a massive — a massive disadvantage,” he said, “and especially when you have the leaders not putting their weight behind the people. They’re not putting their weight behind the people.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.