Trump: I gave Pence go-ahead to endorse Ryan

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Ryan shrugs off Trump non-endorsement

PORTLAND, Maine — Donald Trump may not be ready to endorse Speaker Paul Ryan, but he didn't take the opportunity away from his running mate.

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Trump told a raucous crowd here that Gov. Mike Pence called him to ask if he could endorse Ryan, checking first if Trump would "mind" the announcement, which would mark another mixed message between the GOP nominee and the second half of his ticket.

"So Mike called me and he said yesterday, 'Would you mind if I endorse? I won't do it if it causes any complications or problems. I would absolutely not do it,'" he said. Trump, for his part, told the crowd he gave Pence his blessing - and even called Ryan "a good guy, actually," although the crowd was quick to boo the mention of Ryan's name.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence through the years
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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence through the years
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) wave to the crowd before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Mike Pence, R-Ind. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, right, talks about the flooding in Indiana to Rep. Mike Sodrel, R-Ind, left, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Fred Armstrong, Mayor of Columbus, during a stop in Columbus, Ind., Wednesay, Jan. 12, 2005. A wave of thunderstorms moved across Indiana overnight, causing some scattered flash flooding in north-central Indiana on Wednesday as already saturated ground could not handle the additional rain.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Representatives Mike Pence, R-Ind. and Jeff Flake, R-Az speak with reporters outside the White House after meeting with President Bush, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, in Washington. President Bush met with several members of congress to talk about his Social Security agenda. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who together proposed a bill concerning illegal immigrants, take part in a news conference in San Antonio, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006. Hutchison and Pence toured the Customs and Border Protection Air Operations Center in San Antonio during their visit. Their proposal would require illegal immigrants to cross the border and apply through privately run "Ellis Island" centers to return to the United States on work visas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. takes part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., center, accompanied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R- Calif., left, and Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas., listens to comments during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., meets with constituents during a town hall meeting in Pendleton, Ind., Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. Pence announced yesterday that he will not seek the presidency in 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., is surrounded by supporters after announcing his campaign for the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana during an gathering of supporters in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, June 11, 2011. Pence promised to fight health care reform and federal climate change legislation. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as he kicks off his campaign for the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana during an gathering of supporters in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, June 11, 2011. Pence promised to fight health care reform and federal climate change legislation. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at the Statehouse Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence addresses the Illiana Industry Forum Monday, June 24, 2013, in Rosemont, Ill. Pence was joined by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in hosting a business forum for a planned 47-mile expressway aimed at relieving traffic congestion into the Chicago area. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Dwayne Sawyer speaks after being named as the Auditor of State for Indiana by Gov. Mike Pence during a news conference at the Statehouse Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Indianapolis. Sawyer will complete former Auditor Tim Berryâs term, which runs through 2014. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence talks with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann before giving his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at the Statehouse Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, second from left, South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley, second from right, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, far right, listens as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, far left, speaks during a press conference at the Republican Governors Association's quarterly meeting on Wednesday May 21, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence pauses while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks at the National Rifle Association convention Friday, May 20, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
FILE - In this July 3, 2016, file photo, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a news conference before attending Symphony on the Prairie for a Fourth of July concert in Fishers, Ind. Pence is one of several Republicans Trump is considering for his vice presidential running mate. Trump is expected to announce his decision on Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
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Trump, rehashing a conversation he says he had with his running mate, said, "I said, 'Mike, you like him?' 'Yes.' 'Go ahead and do it, 100 percent.' And he endorsed him."

The GOP nominee stoked party ire on Tuesday when he told the Washington Post he was "not there yet" with his decision to endorse Paul Ryan in his upcoming primary.

But Pence called Ryan a "very close personal friend" in an interview on Wednesday, noting that Trump "encouraged" him to endorse. The Indiana governor sought to bridge the gap between his actions and Trump's past words by saying the two have developed a "close working relationship" despite "different styles" on the trail and in interviews.

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Trump echoed the sentiment, pushing back on reports of "fissures" and message inconsistencies between the two men. "It's so dishonest," he said, continuing his tirade against the media, who he has called his "biggest obstacle" currently.

But one of Trump's other obstacles has often been the veracity of his assertions - and his latest claims about a video he says shows the U.S. dropping off $400 million in various currencies have yet to be validated by any such video evidence. Trump first mentioned the supposed video Wednesday during rallies in Florida and followed up on his claims once again on Thursday.

"You know it was interesting because a tape was made, right? You saw that? With the airplane coming in - nice plane - and the airplane coming in and the money coming off, I guess, right? That was given to us, has to be, by the Iranians," Trump said.

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Trump's campaign, when asked about the video, told NBC News that he was referring to "b-roll" that he saw on television, meaning footage that often appears on screen during conversation of a given story. A campaign official said that the footage could be found in NBC's own package from the Today Show but that footage shows detainees coming off a small private plane in Geneva, Switzerland — not a cargo plane unloading money in Iran.

This isn't the first time Trump has doubled down on videos that cannot be found or authenticated. The GOP nominee frequently spoke about Muslims dancing in New Jersey on 9/11, saying that he saw footage of it on the news. Such footage has yet to be found by NBC or other news outlets.

And while protesters have been fewer at Trump's rallies, Thursday's was interrupted almost half a dozen times by people calling Trump a "racist" or standing in a group holding pocket-sized copies of the Constitution. One man, who chimed in as Trump spoke about this tax plans, called out for Trump to release his tax returns. He was promptly escorted out.

Trump has said that an ongoing audit prevents him from releasing his returns - something that is legally inaccurate - and that once the audits are over, he would release them. No timetable for that has been given.

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