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Pence breaks with Trump, backs Speaker Ryan

Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., addresses supporters during a campaign event in Carson City, Nev., Monday. (AP Photo/Lance Iversen)

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence is breaking with the Republican nominee by endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan in his primary fight.

The Indiana governor said in a phone interview with Fox News Channel that he’s pleased to endorse Ryan.

The move comes a day after Trump said in an interview that he’s “just not quite there yet” when it comes to backing Ryan, who has at times been critical of Trump’s most controversial comments.

Pence says that he spoke with Trump Wednesday morning about his “support for Paul Ryan and our longtime friendship.”

He says Trump, “strongly encouraged me to endorse Paul Ryan in next Tuesday’s primary. And I’m pleased to do it.”

Pence spoke at a town hall event Tuesday night in Phoenix and then took some questions from the few hundred people there but didn’t mention Trump’s endorsement snub to Ryan or Arizona Sen. John McCain.

An Associated Press reporter later asked Pence if he would endorse McCain or Ryan while the candidate was signing autographs and posing for selfies with supporters. Pence appeared to ignore the question and kept moving down the line.

Trump told The Washington Post that he’s “just not quite there yet” when asked about an endorsement of Ryan, who faces a primary election next week. In that interview, Trump also declined to support McCain’s re-election.