Donald Trump ‘surprised’ by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s rebuff

Donald Trump has said he was surprised by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s rebuff of him as the presumptive Republican US presidential nominee.

“He talks about unity but what is this about unity?” he said in a nationally broadcast interview.

Mr Ryan’s declaration that he was not yet ready to embrace Mr Trump sent shockwaves through the very Republican establishment that the New York billionaire is looking to for help as he transitions from the primary season to a general election campaign, most likely against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I was really surprised by it,” Mr Trump said in a phone interview with Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends.

He added: “It’s not a good thing. It’s something the party should get solved quickly.”

Mr Trump said he will meet with Mr Ryan next week, possibly as early as Wednesday.

As for choosing a running mate, Mr Trump would say only that the person will not be a Democrat.

He had indicated earlier this week following his win in the Indiana primary that he would likely settle on a political person with Washington experience, who could help him get legislation through Congress.

“I’m going to pick a Republican and we’ll have a tremendous victory,” Mr Trump said, noting he was particularly pleased to have the backing of former 2016 presidential campaign rival Rick Perry of Texas.

When asked about backing Mr Trump, Mr Ryan told CNN: “I’m not there right now,” although he hoped to be eventually. “I think what is required is that we unify this party,” Mr Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s advisers began conversations with the Republican National Committee on co-ordinating fundraising and tapping into the committee’s extensive voter data file and nationwide get-out-the-vote operation.

Mr Trump also received a cool reception from the 2012 Republican standard-bearer, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and former president George W Bush.

Neither Mr Bush nor his father, former president George HW Bush have embraced Mr Trump, and neither plans to attend the party convention in Cleveland in July.

The divisiveness in the top echelons of the party sends a signal to Republican fundraising networks, which include most of the party’s best-connected donors.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Thursday by tweeting a photo of himself with a taco bowl and the caption: “I love Hispanics,” but the gesture was not to everyone’s taste.

“Happy #CincoDeMayo!” tweeted Trump (@real DonaldTrump). “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican defeat of the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

The posting angered, baffled, or amused social media users, including Democratic presidential front-runner Clinton.

“‘I love Hispanics!’ —Trump, 52 minutes ago,” Clinton (@HillaryClinton) tweeted. “‘They’re gonna be deported.’ —Trump, yesterday.”

Trump has struggled to gain the support of Latino voters since launching his presidential campaign last year with comments accusing Mexico of sending rapists and drug-runners across the US border.

He has also vowed to deport all illegal immigrants living in the US and build a wall along the border with Mexico, which that country would have to pay for.

Others found the tweet offensive and argued it relied heavily on crude stereotyping.

“Now officially waiting for a photo of Trump eating some Church’s Chicken (or Bojangles) with a thumbs up and a ‘I love the blacks!’ [caption]” tweeted Slate chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie).

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