Washington: Donald Trump said on Friday he was surprised by House Speaker Paul Ryan's rebuff of him as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
"He talks about unity but what is this about unity?" he said in a nationally broadcast interview. "With millions of people coming into the party, obviously I'm saying the right thing."
Ryan's declaration that he wasn't yet ready to embrace Trump sent shockwaves through the very Republican establishment that the New York billionaire is asking 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," 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."
Trump also took a swipe at Ryan's own failed bid for the White House when Ryan ran as Mitt Romney's No 2 in 2012.
"That was a race that should have easily been won," Trump said. "That was an easier race than we have this year."
Trump says he will meet with Ryan, R-Wis, next week, possibly as early as Wednesday. As for choosing a running mate, 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 someone who could help him get legislation through Congress.
"I'm going to pick a Republican and we'll have a tremendous victory," Trump said today, noting he was particularly pleased to have the backing of former 2016 presidential campaign rival Rick Perry of Texas.
When asked about backing Trump, Ryan told CNN yesterday: "I'm not there right now," although he hoped to be eventually. "I think what is required is that we unify this party," Ryan said.
Meanwhile, Trump's advisers commenced conversations with the Republican National Committee on coordinating fundraising and tapping into the committee's extensive voter data file and nationwide get-out-the-vote operation.
RNC officials sent a draft of a joint fundraising proposal to the Trump campaign yesterday that details how they would divide donations between the campaign, the national committee, the national convention committee and several state parties. The agreement, standard practice in modern-day campaigns, is expected to be finalized in the coming days.