Trump: I gave Pence go-ahead to endorse Ryan

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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Vice President Mike Pence through the years
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Vice President Mike Pence through the years

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., Derek Karachner, Ian Slatter, Molly Jurmu, Mark Ahearn.

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talk during the markup of the bill which would establish the Department of Homeland Security.

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

(L-R) Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), attorney Floyd Abrams, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and attorney Kenneth Starr speak to reporters in the U.S. Supreme Court Plaza in Washington, D.C., September 8, 2003. Attorneys made arguments during a special session of the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing reform law.

(REUTERS/Stefan Zaklin)

Rep. Mike Pence, new head of the Republican conservative caucus, taken in his Hill office. Includes a bust of Ronald Reagan.

(Photo by Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

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)


(Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)


Pictured: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) left, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010.

(Photo by William B. Plowman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 13, 2016.

(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

President-elect Donald Trump takes the stage with Vice President-elect Mike Pence during a rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower on December 15, 2016 in New York City. President-Elect Donald Trump continues to hold meetings with potential members of his cabinet at his office.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Tim Kaine, 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, left, and Mike Pence, 2016 Republican vice presidential nominee, speak during the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine arrive at tonight's debate with three main assignments: defend their bosses from attack, try to land a few blows, and avoid any mistakes showing them unfit to be president.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (R) as his wife Karen Pence holds the Bible, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA, left, speaks with Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, at the Chrysler Group transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, will invest about $374 million and add 1,250 jobs at Indiana factories to boost output of eight-and nine-speed transmissions.

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Mike Pence, R-Ind, share a laugh at a rally to support a House resolution, scheduled for a vote Thursday, that would require a list of earmarks and the names of lawmakers sponsoring them to be contained in committee and conference reports. The rally took place on Cannon Terrace.

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

US Republican Representative from Indiana Mike Pence, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, 01 April 2007. Pence and a group of US Congressmen are on a visit to the war-torn country.

(SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., makes marks on the House health care bill as House Republicans gathered in the House Republicans Reading Room in the Longworth House Office Building on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009.

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) speaks during a rally on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), thought to be a contender for the 2012 presidential race, also spoke at the rally held on Capitol Hill by Americans for Prosperity in support of spending cuts.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Budget chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as they arrive for a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 25, 2011.

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is seen at the 2015 IPL 500 Festival Parade on May 23, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) while Vice President Mike Pence (C) looks on during a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congressional Republicans are gathering for three days to plan their 2017 legislative agenda.

(Photo by Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

US Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence dance during the Liberty ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.


From left, First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Major General Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence review the troops following the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


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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