- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2016

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday he doesn’t have anything to with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s stated support for a candidate challenging House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in a GOP primary, calling the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee a “free agent.”

“I have nothing to do with that. Sarah is very much a free agent,” Mr. Trump said on CNN’s “New Day.” “She’s a terrific person, but she’s very much a free agent, and I didn’t know about this until yesterday.”

“I guess she’s been fighting, or she’s endorsing somebody that’s running against Paul Ryan, and I didn’t know about it until yesterday when I read about it,” Mr. Trump said.

On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Mrs. Palin predicted that Mr. Ryan would be “Cantored” — a reference to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost a 2014 primary election in a stunning upset to Rep. Dave Brat.

She slammed Mr. Ryan for saying last week that he wasn’t yet ready to support Mr. Trump’s candidacy, and she said she will do whatever she can for Paul Nehlen, who is mounting a primary challenge against Mr. Ryan.

“His political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people,” Mrs. Palin said of Mr. Ryan. “For him to already come out and say who he will not support was not a wise decision of his.”

Mr. Trump said that Mr. Ryan had been very nice to him but that he was “blindsided” when the speaker said last week that he was not yet ready to support his candidacy.

“I’ll go a step further. I’ve always liked him,” Mr. Trump said Monday. “He called me not so long ago, I don’t know, a number of weeks ago, but he called me, and he was very supportive and very nice, and I thought everything was fine, and then I got blindsided, so we’ll see. I mean look, I’ll see what happens.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan are scheduled to meet later this week.

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