The Latest: Ryan: If Trump asks, I'll step down as co-chair | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: Ryan: If Trump asks, I'll step down as co-chair

Supporters hold signs while as listen to Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speak at a campaign rally, Monday, May 9, 2016, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
May 09, 2016 - 10:15 AM

WASHINGTON - The Latest on the 2016 presidential race (all times local):

1:08 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he'd step down as co-chairman of the Republican National Convention if presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump asked him to.

Ryan adds that a third-party or independent run for president by conservatives upset with Donald Trump "would be a disaster for our party."

Ryan made the comments Monday in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Ryan's comments come after he said last week that he was not yet ready to endorse Trump, but he hoped to be able to later. The two are scheduled to meet later this week.

Ryan also is dismissing claims from Sarah Palin that he is considering a run for president in 2020. Ryan says "I would not have become speaker of the House if I had 2020 aspirations. If I really wanted to run for president, I could have run in 2012 and 2016. The speaker is not exactly a good stepping stone for president.

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11:30 a.m.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is hedging his bets on backing his party's nominee for president now that it's apparent it'll be Donald Trump.

Toomey wrote in a Sunday op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer that he's "inclined to support the nominee" of his party but said that his differences with Trump could become "so great as to be irreconcilable."

Toomey was narrowly elected in the GOP's 2010 midterm landslide but is now running in a presidential election year in a state that Democrats have carried since 1992. Electoral pundits say his race is a toss-up.

Earlier, Toomey had said he would support the GOP standard-bearer, but that was before Trump became the presumptive nominee.

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11:20 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is slamming Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and billionaire investor Carl Icahn in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He's telling supporters the duo's "greed and recklessness" have hurt the city's struggling gaming industry.

The Democratic presidential candidate cites Trump's stance on the minimum wage and his provocative statements about Latinos and Muslims.

Icahn is the owner of Atlantic City's Tropicana and Taj Mahal casinos and an early supporter of Trump. Sanders accuses him of seeking to destroy the pensions and health benefits of workers.

Sanders says "greed is not acceptable" and if he's elected president he will "take these people on."

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11:10 a.m.

Donald Trump is tapping New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead the transition team that will usher in a Trump administration if he wins the White House.

It's a plum post for the governor who endorsed Trump back in February, when his success in the primaries was far from assured.

Christie's own Republican presidential race failed, and he earned derision back in New Jersey for backing Trump. But since then Trump has driven all remaining competitors out of the nomination contest.

Since that happened last week, Trump's team has been playing catch-up as it works to prepare for the general election, quickly adding staff, building a finance operation and reaching out to Republican leaders.

Christie has been a key adviser behind the scenes.

Trump says in a statement that Christie is "an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled transition team."

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10:30 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is imploring supporters in New Jersey to keep fighting despite his long odds. He says "Don't let anybody tell you this campaign is over."

Sanders trails Hillary Clinton by nearly 300 delegates won in primaries and caucuses, but vows to press on into the Democratic convention.

He told an Atlantic City rally he hopes for wins in New Jersey, California and other states on June 7 to narrow the gap against Clinton.

If he can win a majority of the delegates from the primary season, he says, he can come out of the convention with the nomination.

But Sanders would have to win 66 per cent of the remaining pledged delegates. So far, he is winning just 45 per cent. And he trails even more when the party insiders known as superdelegates are included.

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9 a.m.

Sarah Palin isn't taking kindly to House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to hold off on a Donald Trump endorsement. She's declared that Ryan's "political career is over, but for a miracle," and says she'll work for his defeat in the August Wisconsin GOP primary.

Palin was the vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in 2008 and now is a prominent Trump supporter. On Monday, Trump declined to echo Palin's harsh words about the speaker from a day earlier, saying, "Sarah is very much a free agent."

The presumptive presidential nominee drove his remaining rivals out of the race but is struggling to close the deal with party insiders like Ryan.

The two are expected to meet this week.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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