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Ryan trashes Putin but won’t call out Trump for praising him

Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan, pressed about Donald Trump’s praise of the strongman Russian leader, trashed Vladimir Putin, but wouldn’t criticize the GOP presidential nominee.

“Vladimir Putin is an aggressor that does not share our interests,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, before listing what he viewed as the Russian leaders’ transgressions.
    “Vladimir Putin is violating the sovereignty of neighboring countries. It certainly appears that he is conducting state-sponsored cyber-attacks on what appears to be our political system. That is not acting in our interest. And that is an adversarial stance and he is acting like an adversary,” he said.
    But when CNN pressed the speaker if he had concerns about Trump’s high regard for Putin, Ryan dodged.
    “I made my points about Putin clear right there. I’ll just leave it at that,” he said.
    Trump’s remarks about Putin were among a series of controversial statements the real estate businessman made at a national security forum hosted Wednesday by NBC News. He noted Putin’s high approval rating was at 82% and told moderator Matt Lauer he was a better leader than President Barack Obama.
    “I mean, the man has very strong control over a country. And that’s a very different system and I don’t happen to like the system. But certainly in that system he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader,” he said.
    Ryan has had a sometimes-rocky relationship with Trump. He initially held back an endorsement when he became the nominee in May and has criticized the businessman periodically when he’s voiced views that the speaker believes are detrimental to the party.
    But when asked again about the latest things Trump has said about military leaders and the other issues if he is reconsidering his support now, the speaker bristled.
    “You think I’m going to stand up here and be election pundit? I’ve got other things to do in this job,” Ryan said.
    Trump is the GOP nominee “because he won our nomination fair and square,” Ryan said, repeating his past remarks on Trump. “I’m not going to sit up here and do the tit-for-tat on what Donald said last night or the night before and Hillary vs. Donald.”
    Ryan also seemed to give some cover to Trump when he was asked if the presidential candidate should present a detailed proposal to battle the terror group ISIS.
    “We have a plan to defeat ISIS,” referring to a proposal that is part of Ryan’s “Better Way” policy agenda. He added about his own 67 point plan, “look at what we are offering in conjunction with our nominee.”

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    Dallas Morning News breaks GOP endorsement streak with anti-Trump op-ed

    Washington (CNN)The Dallas Morning News editorial board said Tuesday they would not give their blessing to Donald Trump in 2016, ending a streak of endorsing every Republican presidential nominee since 1968.

    In an editorial titled “Donald Trump is no Republican,” the paper’s editors rebuked the GOP hopeful, advising Texas voters that Trump is “not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote.”
      They argue that Trump “inexplicably” won the primary despite being “the one who thumbed his nose at conservative orthodoxy altogether. Trump is — or has been — at odds with nearly every GOP ideal that this newspaper holds dear,” they wrote. “Donald Trump is no Republican and certainly no conservative.”
      The Morning News, which backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the primaries, cited Trump’s “authoritarian streak that should horrify limited-government advocates” and his “open admiration of Russia’s Vladimir Putin” as “alarming” reasons to oppose his candidacy. They also criticized the real estate mogul’s economic policies, saying that “his protectionism would likely force the U.S. into trade wars, increase the deficit, and sink the U.S. economy back into a recession.”
      “His ideas are so far from Republicanism that they have spawned a new description: Trumpism.”
      And without mentioning Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, the paper made clear it would not be getting behind Trump’s movement.
      “We have no interest in a Republican nominee for whom all principles are negotiable, nor in a Republican Party that is willing to trade away principle for pursuit of electoral victory. Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”
      CNN has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment on the Morning News’ editorial, but did not immediately receive a response.
      In late July, another prominent Texas newspaper with a history of conservative political endorsements — the Houston Chronicle — also made headlines when it endorsed Clinton and labeled Trump a “danger to the Republican Party” in an op-ed.

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      Prominent Latino withdraws support from Donald Trump

      Washington (CNN)A prominent Latino surrogate for Donald Trump announced Thursday he had officially withdrawn his support from the Republican presidential nominee after the real estate mogul resumed his hard-line immigration position in a major policy speech in Arizona.

      Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles President Alfonso Aguilar told CNN he felt disappointed and misled by Trump and his campaign after recent speculation the Republican nominee would soften his stance on undocumented immigrants.
        “For the last two months, he said he was not going to deport people without criminal records,” Aguilar told CNN’s Carol Costello on “Newsroom.” “And then we heard yesterday, and I was totally disappointed — not surprised, but disappointed — and slightly misled, because he gave the impression and the campaign gave the impression until yesterday morning that he was going to deal with the undocumented in a compassionate way.”
        Trump on Wednesday returned to the same immigration rhetoric that saw him clinch the GOP nomination, telling an audience in Phoenix that there would be “no amnesty” for undocumented migrants living in the United States under his presidency.
        Aguilar, who has been critical of Trump’s tone and posture on race and immigration in the past, slammed Trump for his plan, with Aguilar describing it as being “even worse than what he initially proposed.”
        “They’re going to leave the country, self-deport or be removed, and there’s no guarantee that they will return,” Aguilar said. “I mean that speech was a restrictionist speech. And I just think he’s embraced Jeff Sessions and people like Ann Coulter and forgotten about building a coalition to win this election. I’m so sorry, but I just can’t be part of that.”
        But Aguilar remained adamant that he would still not vote for Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, in November.
        “I mean, people who think that she’s (Clinton) committed to immigration reform, she’s misleading them just like Donald Trump misled us,” Aguilar said. “So, look, I don’t think we have a good choice right now. I think I have to talk to our coalition of leaders and figure out, you know, what our next step is, but certainly, it’s not going to be to support Trump nor Hillary Clinton.”
        Aguilar’s announcement follows a report by Politico on Wednesday that high-profile Latino Trump surrogates, including Trump National Hispanic Advisory Council member Jacob Monty, were wavering in their support after the address at the Phoenix Convention Center.
        Monty also officially distanced himself from the Republican Party’s standard-bearer Thursday, telling CNN he had stepped down from the council.
        “We need more security but when he called for the deportation of (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, that is just unrealistic, cruel, (and) not productive for the economy because they’re working, they’re going to school,” Monty told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. “And the biggest thing for me was when he completely punted on the issue of what to do with the 11 million, when we discussed that with him.”
        Monty added, “And when I saw that, I had to resign because I’m not going to be a prop for his image like the president of Mexico was yesterday.”
        Monty said he too was not prepared to vote for Clinton and had decided not to vote for either of the candidates at the top of the ticket, supporting Republicans further down the ballot instead.

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