EXCLUSIVE: Longtime GOP Backer Says Ryan Hopes Trump Loss Clears Deck For 2020

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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A longtime Republican financial backer who attended a New York fundraiser held by Chris Christie for Donald Trump Thursday tells The Daily Caller that most Republican donors are on board with Trump, yet House Speaker Paul Ryan is hoping Trump loses so he can run in four years.

The source tells TheDC that the reason Ryan has not been coming out strongly for Trump is because of his desire to run in four years. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has been fervently anti-Trump, also wants to run in four years, according to the longtime Republican backer. Romney will be 73 in 2020.

An aide for Ryan told TheDC, “Speaker Ryan said in an op-ed in the Janesville Gazette last week that he is voting for Donald Trump and of course he wants the Republican nominee to win in November.”

At the New York City fundraiser, Christie didn’t address Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel directly. Christie did however say that GOP leaders either back Trump, don’t comment on him at all or say they support Hillary Clinton. The New Jersey governor specifically referenced South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, an individual with knowledge of the event held at the Four Seasons told TheDC.

A Trump campaign pollster at the event believes that the map will be redrawn, with Texas being tighter and the GOP edging out on top in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton has previously said, “If black and Latino voters come out and vote, we could win Texas.”

The longtime Republican financial backer told TheDC that Trump strongly believes he can put New Jersey, New York, and California in play, though there is the sense not a lot of money will be spent on these states. It’s a possibility the effort would be only designed to scare Hillary. The source went on to say that the Trump campaign seems most intent on winning in Pennsylvania.

Updated June 10 with comment from Speaker Ryan’s office