- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 19, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who will serve as chairman of the Republican National Convention, said he’s taking a hands-off approach if delegates move to block Donald Trump from getting the presidential nomination.

“It is not my job to tell delegates what to do, what not to do or to weigh in on things like that,” Mr. Ryan said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The speaker described his roles at the July convention in Cleveland as that of an umpire who would “call balls and strikes and just play it by the rules.”

But it is up to the rules committee that meets a week before the convention to write the rules, said Mr. Ryan, who has had a rocky relationship with Mr. Trump but eventually has endorsed him.

A group of delegates is plotting to rewrite the rules with a “conscience clause” that would allow delegates not to vote for the candidate to whom they are bound as a result of state primary elections.

The change potentially would clear the way for delegates to deny Mr. Trump the nomination, despite his having won more than enough bound delegates in the primaries to win the nomination on the first ballot.

This plot dubbed, “dump Trump,” is the latest in a series of ill-fated efforts within the GOP to derail Mr. Trump’s run for the White House, including the #NeverTrump movement.

Mr. Ryan said his role at the convention has been reduced to a “ceremonial position” by Mr. Trump’s decisive victory in the primary race.

Pressed on whether he would be comfortable with a rule change that potentially blocked Mr. Trump, the speaker said that is a question better directed at the delegates themselves or Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

“My opinion is not relevant here. I’m not going to tell the delegates how to do their job because I am chairman of the convention,” said Mr. Ryan.

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