WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid extraordinary Republican infighting over Donald Trump, the word from House Speaker Paul Ryan is nope, he’s not running for president.
The professed lack of interest from Ryan, R-Wis., came Friday in a letter from a lawyer representing him to the Federal Election Commission. The note by Timothy E. Kronquist disavows the Committee to Draft Speaker Ryan, a political action committee that filed papers with the FEC on Thursday.
“The speaker has not, and does not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize, endorse, or otherwise approve of the organization’s formation or activities, and he is not involved with the organization in any way,” the letter says. “Speaker Ryan has repeatedly announced publicly that he is not running for president in 2016.”
Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong added in an emailed comment, “He is flattered, but not interested.”
The GOP has been knotted in turmoil since Trump took a big lead in convention delegates Tuesday by winning seven state primaries. GOP 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other leading Republicans have talked publicly about blocking the billionaire businessman from winning the nomination, and talk has turned to alternative GOP figures.
The letter does not specifically address what Ryan would do if Republicans, tied in knots at their July convention in Cleveland, begged him to accept the nomination.
Ryan was Romney’s vice presidential running mate and has deep respect across the GOP. Last fall, he rose to the speaker post when he was pressured to take the job after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor, John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The letter said Ryan hopes “donors and supporters are not confused by, or misled into supporting, this organization.”
David Satterfield, listed as treasurer of the committee, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
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