Watch CBSN Live

Donald Trump endorses Ryan, McCain, Ayotte ahead of primary races

Trump endorses Ryan
Trump endorses Ryan 03:10

After days of Donald Trump's public hesitation in backing House Speaker Paul Ryan during his Wisconsin primary race, the Republican presidential nominee endorsed Ryan Friday evening at a rally in Green Bay.

Trump's tough week 04:14

"In our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our Speaker of the House Paul Ryan," Trump said Friday evening. "He's a good man. He's a good man and he's a good guy. And we may disagree on a couple of things, but mostly we agree and we're going to get it done and we're going to do a lot of wonderful things."

Trump also endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain, who he has also been at odds with.

"While I'm at it, I hold in the highest esteem, Sen. John McCain for his service to our country in uniform and in public office and I fully support and endorse his reelection," the GOP nominee added. "Very important. We'll work together."

And in another show of primary establishment support, Trump also backed New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who has been publicly critical of Trump's recent feud with the Khan family.

"I also fully support and endorse Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire -- a state I truly love, primarily because that was my first victory," Trump said, referring to his primary win in the state back in February. "She is a rising star and will continue to represent the great people of New Hampshire so very well for a long, long time. Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Working hand in hand, we will grow our majority in the House and in the Senate."

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted out his thanks for Paul Nehlen, Rep. Ryan's Republican primary challenger, who defended Trump on the lingering controversy regarding his attacks against the Gold Star Khans.

Thanks to @pnehlen for your kind words, very much appreciated.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016

Ryan, for his part, has been critical of Trump's feud with the Khans, whose Army captain son died fighting in the Iraq war in 2004. He called Trump's remarks "beyond the pale" in a radio interview with WTAQ but did not withdraw his endorsement of the GOP nominee. Ryan also opposes Trump's policy proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Trump turmoil 05:58

On Tuesday, Trump declared outright that he wasn't ready endorse to the House speaker and even seemed to echo Ryan's own words when the House speaker held back his own endorsement of Trump.

"I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country," Trump told the Washington Post in an interview Tuesday. "We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I'm just not quite there yet. I'm not quite there yet."

Ryan, back in May, had told CNN that he was "not there yet" when it came to supporting Trump. A few weeks later in June the House speaker gave a lukewarm endorsement to the GOP candidate saying he would "be voting for him this fall" despite their "differences."

Of McCain, Trump told the Washington Post earlier this week that "I've never been there with John McCain because I've always felt that he should have done a much better job for the vets... So I've always had a difficult time with John for that reason, because our vets are not being treated properly."

Ryan faces off against Republican Paul Nehlen in his primary Tuesday. McCain challenges his primary opponent in Arizona, Dr. Kelli Ward, that same day.

CBS News Senior Political Editor Steve Chaggaris contributed to this story

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue