Trump, Ryan gap remains

It looks like it’s going to be a slow courtship between Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ryan is still not committed to supporting Trump as the party’s nominee, although he said he was “encouraged” by their conversation Thursday at Republican National Committee headquarters.

“While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground,” Trump and Ryan said in a joint statement. They said they would have “additional discussions.”

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who spoke to Ryan later, told Newsday’s Tom Brune the House GOP leader will need some time “to find a way forward to work together, to sort it out” with Trump. “It may be a while before Paul endorses him,” he said.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) a Trump supporter, said it will help both the candidate and the conservative speaker if they can overcome their rift, which is rooted both in policy differences and Ryan’s distaste for the candidate’s insult-spewing style.

A not-qualified endorsement

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King said he will support Trump as the nominee but takes back none of the uncomplimentary things he has said about him.

He called Trump “not fit to be president” after Trump blamed former President George W. Bush for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and starting the Iraq War.

“I stand by all those things I said. I said all along I would support the nominee of the party. I do endorse him and I’ll vote for him, but I don’t intend to be campaigning for him,” King told Brune.

First-endorsers club snubbed

A Trump ally on Capitol Hill is upset that Trump did not meet with his supporters among the congressional rank and file.

“I think it would have been good of him” to meet with “the first endorsers,” as well as those who lined up behind Trump more recently, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) told Politico. “There is no reason not to have as many people on your side as you can … and he missed a real opportunity here.”

The take-away: Hide and seek

Trump’s continued stalling on releasing his income tax returns has given Hillary Clinton a chance to divert attention from her own nondisclosure — the transcripts of her well-paid Wall Street speeches.

And while Trump says there’s “nothing to learn” from the tax returns, a reporter who saw them during a court fight with Trump — but legally can’t reveal what’s in them — hints they would be very interesting. For more, read Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Early on Friday Trump grew more defensive on the matter, telling George Stephanopoulos on ABC "it's none of your business, you'll see it when I release."  The billionaire said as before "I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible." 

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Christie looks better from distance

Would Chris Christie as a running mate help Trump?

Maybe — as long as the voters are not in his home state of New Jersey.

See story by Newsday’s William Goldschlag.

Clinton decries immigration raids

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Reports that U.S. immigration officials are planning raids soon to deport hundreds of undocumented Central American mothers and children prompted criticism from Clinton.

“I’m against large scale raids that tear families apart and sow fear in communities,” a Clinton statement said. “Families fleeing violence in Central America must be given a full opportunity to seek relief,” she said.

Trump nemesis gets brain picked

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tells reporters that Trump — who ridiculed him as a “lightweight” with “zero credibility” — called him Wednesday to get his advice on national security.

Graham, who has made no endorsement, said a “mutual friend” arranged the call and that Trump “asked really good questions,” tweeted BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray.

Graham has called Trump a “nut job.” In July, Trump punked Graham by giving out his cellphone number on TV.

What else is happening:

  • Trump’s former Mar-a-Lago butler posted on Facebook that President Barack Obama should be killed for treason. Trump’s campaign said, “We totally disavow and condemn these horrible statements,” and the Secret Service is investigating ...
  • Bernie Sanders visited Gaffe City Thursday night when he  mistakenly referred to Sioux Falls, S.D. as "Sioux City." Locals audibly groaned.
  • A new pro-Trump super PAC, the Committee for American Sovereignty, predicted it will raise at least $100 million ...
  • Blacklisting formerly anti-Trump campaign vendors is on the bucket list of some of his inside players, Politico reports...
  • A group of Bernie Sanders supporters who believe Clinton will win the nomination want him to quit the race after the June 7 primaries and lead a progressive stop-Trump organization ...
  • Unions are pooling funds with other donors in a Super PAC to support Democratic candidates, reports the WSJ.
  • Obama is pushing the bathroom-gender issue with a new federal directive tied to education funds, no doubt fanning more campaign debate...
  • Small-business owners say they haven’t heard enough from any of the presidential candidates on what they would do to help ...
  • Incoherent tax plans issued so far by Trump aren't changing, according to the campaign.
  • The door is still revolving for Trump’s GOP convention delegate slate in California. Five are out so far, including a white nationalist, an anti-Muslim pastor and a Mexican-American mayor who objects to Trump’s rhetoric.
  • Miami’s Republican mayor, Tomás Regalado, says he won’t vote for Trump because “he mistreats people” and “is capable of creating national and international chaos” ...
  • The GOP convention could still prove contentious in five ways the NYT lists here (pay wall). 
  • There is a handy list of which Republicans have endorsed Trump, and which have not, provided by Politico ...