The New York Times reports:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan dealt a hammer blow to Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy Monday, telling Republican lawmakers that he would no longer defend Mr. Trump and would focus instead on defending the party’s majority in Congress.
But in an illustration of Mr. Trump’s powerful grip on much of the party, Mr. Ryan faced angry blowback from conservative lawmakers supportive of Mr. Trump.
After Mr. Ryan announced his decision in a conference call Monday morning, a stream of hard-liners came on the line to urge their colleagues not to give up on Mr. Trump, and complained that Mr. Ryan was effectively conceding the presidency.
Mr. Ryan initially urged his members to focus on their own re-election campaigns and to make individual decisions about how to handle Mr. Trump, according to two people who were on the call, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But after an uproar from his own caucus, Mr. Ryan came back on the line, about 45 minutes into the call, to reassure them that he was not rescinding his endorsement of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Ryan said he would dedicate himself full time to keeping control of the House and said flatly that he “won’t defend” Mr. Trump, people on the call said. And while he did not say he was withdrawing his endorsement, some of the House members took it that way and angrily attacked him for effectively giving up on Mr. Trump.