WASHINGTON — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that he doesn’t “want” or “care” about having House Speaker Paul Ryan’s support in an interview in which he repeatedly trashed the House speaker, virtually unprompted.
“I don’t want his support,” Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly about Ryan. “I don’t care about his support. What I want to do is I want to win for the people.”
His remarks come after the Republican nominee lashed out in a stream of tweets earlier Tuesday, slamming as Ryan effectively cutting him loose and accusing the party leadership of dooming his campaign.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump tweeted.
Asked to elaborate, Trump told O’Reilly “the shackles are some of the establishment people who are weak and ineffective.”
“They’re not giving support — they don’t give the support that we really need — but the fact is that I think we should get support and we don’t get the support from guys like Paul Ryan,” Trump said. “He had a conference call with congressman, with hundreds of them, and they practically rioted against him on the phone. One person stuck up for him.”
“And I don’t really want his support,” Trump said of Ryan.
Trump also fired off a list of grievances against Ryan, ranging from “open borders and amnesty” to “bad budgets.”
“By the way, very, very bad budgets. Frankly, the only one that (President Barack) Obama negotiates well with is Paul Ryan with the budgets,” he said.
Trump’s attacks come a day after Ryan told his House colleagues he’d no longer defend or campaign for Trump — an unprecedented move for party leadership with less than four weeks to go until November 8. Ryan maintained that he’s still endorsing and voting for Trump, however.
Trump also criticized Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain — the 2008 Republican presidential nominee — who withdrew his endorsement of the Trump over the weekend.
Both Ryan and McCain changed their positions in the wake of Friday’s publication of a 2005 tape in which Trump discusses women in a lewd and sexually aggressive manner.
Trump told O’Reilly that McCain had been “desperate to get my endorsement” during the primary, but since then, turned on Trump.
“He’s never heard salty language before, you know,” Trump said sarcastically. “John McCain, who has probably the dirtiest mouth in all his Senate.”
O’Reilly told Trump that if he’s elected president, he’s going to “need these guys.”
“They’ll be there,” Trump responded. “I would think that maybe Ryan wouldn’t be there, maybe he’ll be in a different position. But McCain will be there, they’ll all be there.”
“And do you think they’ll cooperate with you trashing them?” O’Reilly asked Trump.
“To be honest Bill, I get along with people,” Trump responded. “I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people that I can tell you … including Ryan … especially Ryan.”