House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said that it was “unacceptable” for Donald Trump to suggest there would be rioting if he is not chosen as the Republican nominee.
“Nobody should say such things in my opinion because to even address or hint to violence is unacceptable,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill.
On Wednesday, Trump said on CNN that if he does not win the GOP nomination at the convention in July: “I think you’d have riots. I’m representing a tremendous many, many millions of people.”
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For the first time, Ryan, who will be the chairman of the convention in Cleveland as Speaker of the House, acknowledged there could be an open convention.
“We are getting our minds around that this very well could become a reality,” Ryan said.
Ryan, who has declined to say that he would oppose Trump as the nominee even as he has scolded the GOP front-runner for his rhetoric, said Thursday that he does not see himself denouncing Trump’s candidacy.
“I do not believe I will have to do that,” he said, while reaffirming his previous statements that he will stand up for conservative principles.
Ryan also reiterated that he will not serve as the party’s nominee if there is a contested convention this summer.
And he indicated that he’s told his predecessor, John Boehner, to stop making public remarks of support for him, as he did earlier this week at a Florida conference.
“I saw Boehner last night and I told him to knock it off,” he said. “I used slightly different words. I used his own words that he used to use against us when he told us to knock things off.”
This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.