Washington, May 12: Real estate tycoon Donald Trump, who is now the Republican presumptive presidential nominee, would meet top party leaders here on Thursday as part of his efforts to sort out differences and forge unity within the bitterly divided party before he mounts his presidential bid.
Topping the list of leaders is Congressman Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, who last week dropped a bombshell saying he is not ready to support Trump as the presidential nominee of the party.
Days later he toned it down to say that he would do whatever the presumptive nominee wants him to do. "On Thursday, the two men will meet in Washington, striving for party unity after Ryan refused to endorse Trump's presidential bid.
When he arrives, Trump will have nearly clinched the GOP nomination by running squarely against Ryan's vision of what Republicanism is," the Washington Post said. Trump would also hold meetings with the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Republicans hold a majority in both chambers of the US Congress and many feel that a Trump candidacy might put this majority at risk.
According to Time magazine, the Ryan-Trump meeting comes at a critical juncture as the two party leaders jostle for positions as the face of the future of the party. The magazine said that Ryan is unlikely to embrace Trump after the first meeting.
"I'd be shocked if he embraces Trump all the way. The things Trump has said and done, both the policy reversals and the insults, just in the last week, I can't see how one meeting is going to change that. Trump's actions mean a lot more than any one meeting," a Ryan insider was quoted as saying by Time.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional leadership announced that it would unveil the "Trump Textbook" today. It is a new report from Senate Democrats that will outline a number of policies to show that, despite attempts to keep their distance from Trump's policies, Senate Republicans have actually been pushing the same special interest-driven agenda for years.
On the eve of the much anticipated meeting, Trump received a shot in his arm as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced that he is endorsing the New York billionaire.
"I endorse Donald Trump. I am going to work very hard for the nominee," Gingrich told Fox News. Politico reported that Trump as part of his efforts to make peace with the Republican leadership is turning to lawmakers for help on the policy front.