Ben Carson has requested a private meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to discuss Donald Trump, a new report says.
Carson hopes to meet Ryan before the lawmaker huddles with Trump on Thursday, three people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.
“[Carson] is guy who can bring people together,” Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager, said late Monday. “Donald Trump trusts him and the Speaker trusts him. He wants to do the will of the people.”
The Washington Post reported Monday that an aide to Ryan confirmed Carson had requested a private chat with the Speaker, who has yet to say he will support Trump.
It reported that such a meeting remains unscheduled, but that Ryan is keen on speaking with Carson, one of Trump’s most visible supporters.
Ryan announced late last week he had invited Trump to a meeting with Republican leadership scheduled for Thursday.
“Having both said we need to unify the party, Speaker Ryan has invited Donald Trump to meet with members of the House Republican leadership in Washington on Thursday morning to begin a discussion about the kind of Republican principles and ideas that can win the support of the American people in November,” his office said in a statement last Friday.
Ryan stunned people last week by withholding his support of Trump, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.
“To be perfectly candid with you … I’m just not ready to do that at this point,” he said. “I’m not there right now. I hope to, though, and I want to. At this point I’m not ready to jump in, but I hope we can get there.”
Trump counterpunched by saying he remains skeptical of Ryan’s congressional agenda, adding they should collaborate on improvements that help “the American people.”
Reports emerged Monday that Trump will also be meeting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday.
McConnell said last week that Trump “now has the opportunity and the obligation to unite our party around our goals.”