WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday that Donald Trump’s attempts to discredit the family of a soldier who died in Iraq were “beyond the pale,” but not so unacceptable that he would revoke his endorsement of the candidate.
Over the last week, Trump has engaged in a back-and-forth with the parents of American war hero Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, who was Muslim. Trump said Khan’s father, Khizr, “viciously attacked” him during his speech at the DNC, and suggested that Ghazala Khan hadn’t spoken because she was not allowed to do so.
Republican leaders, including Ryan, issued statements earlier this week distancing themselves from Trump’s comments about the Khans, saying that the Khans, and their son’s sacrifice, “should always be honored.” Khizr Khan made a direct appeal to Ryan asking him to “repudiate” the Republican nominee. Days later, Trump said he could not endorse Ryan in his primary, which is just a week away.
In his first interview since Trump’s comment, Ryan told Wisconsin radio station WTAQ that his endorsement of the real estate mogul is not a “blank check.”
Ryan first told The Huffington Post in June that his support isn’t unconditional, hinting that he wouldn’t hesitate to sue Trump over his proposed Muslim ban if the nominee were to become president and implement it.
“I don’t know what that line is,” Ryan said at the time. “But right now, I want to make sure that we win the White House.”
It appears that neither insulting the family of a soldier who sacrificed his life serving the U.S. in Iraq, nor proposing a ban on Muslims from “terrorist countries” nor attacking the impartiality of a federal judge over his heritage are crossing the line for Ryan.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump