During a phone interview with Fox News on Friday, Trump said he was “very, very surprised” at Ryan’s comments. “It’s hard to believe,” he said, adding, “It doesn’t bother me at all.”
His tweets, however, suggest otherwise.
“So many great endorsements yesterday, except for Paul Ryan!” Trump tweeted. “We must put America first and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Roughly 90 minutes later, Trump came back with a sharp critique of another comment Ryan made Thursday. “Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong, I didn't inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The subtle difference Trump highlighted was a piercing remark that speaks to the rift between mainstream Republicans and the polarizing, unconventional candidate who has risen to become the face of the party. His proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and refusal to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan led to Ryan’s implicit rebuke of the candidate throughout the primary, but Trump’s rhetoric has resonated with millions of voters, who have come out in droves across the country to support his candidacy.
Trump has said it’s imperative to unite the party — though he’s pushed back against complete unity, emphasizing that certain Republicans who have been critical of him should go their own way.
During an interview with Sirius XM and “Breitbart News Daily,” Trump said on Friday morning that he liked Ryan but expressed some reservations about his most recent critic.
Read more: Trump camp suggests Ryan unfit to be speaker - POLITICO