House Speaker Paul Ryan continues to say that he will still support whoever wins the Republican nomination, even though he has criticized Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the sometimes violent atmosphere at his rallies.
Asked Tuesday whether he’ll support the GOP nominee, Ryan replied: “My position hasn’t changed on that.”
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Ryan said that the decision of who the GOP nominee will be is up to the voters.
“The Republican primary voters are going to make this decision,” he said. “This is not our decision to make.”
Ryan indicated that he would continue to speak out for “conservative” principles when those ideals are “distorted.”
“I’m the Speaker of the House. So I’m going to do what I said I’d do. When I see our principles being distorted, we’re going to stand up in defense of our principles. Not just Republican principles, or conservative principles but American principles,” he said.
“At the same time, what can we control? We can control our agenda. With respect to who the nominee is going to be, that is going to be selected by the voters.”
Ryan said that he spoke to Trump last week about the House’s agenda —a call the Speaker also placed to the other remaining Republican presidential candidates.
But another GOP leader, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said he has not spoken to Trump since the beginning of the year.
McConnell’s spokesman told NBC News that the two men last spoke in December.
On NBC’s TODAY Monday morning, Trump said that the “biggest people in the party” have reached out to him to discuss his presidential bid.
This story first appeared on the NBC politics live blog.