Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump offered some public praise over Twitter for House Speaker Paul Ryan's opponent in the congressional race.
Ryan, although officially endorsing Trump after he became the Republican nominee, has criticized Trump on many of his policies as well as his harsh words towards the parents of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in the Iraq War.
“Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain Khan was one such brave example,” said Ryan in a statement, according to The Huffington Post. “His sacrifice -- and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan -- should always be honored. Period.”
Possibly as a stand against Ryan, Trump praised his opponent for the Wisconsin congressional seat, entrepreneur Paul Nehler. Nehler, an ardent Trump supporter, posted a piece defending Trump's comments about the captain's parents and slamming Ryan for misunderstanding Trump's words.
"The problem with Paul Ryan is his constant knee-jerk reactions to anything controversial Donald Trump might say without completely understanding the issue," Nehlen wrote on his website. "He’s LOOKING for a way to contradict and criticize Mr. Trump because he knows the liberal press will eat it up."
Trump himself thanked Nehlen over Twitter, saying "Thanks to @pnehlen for your kinds words, very much appreciated."
Nehlen responded only 10 minutes later, tweeting "My pleasure, Sir. Just want to Make America Great Again."
Like Trump, Nehlen is a business owner who has never held a public office and wants to take the economy back from "crony politicians," according to his website. He also claims that Ryan's jabs against Trump are helping Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton get into office.
But Ryan himself is attempting to remain out of the fray and refuses to respond to Trump or Nehlen's comments.
"The speaker is going to remain focused entirely on ensuring we deliver strong Republican majorities this fall," Ryan's campaign manager Zack Roday told CNN.
Nehlen and Ryan will face off in the GOP Congressional primary Aug. 9. Despite his consistent criticisms of Trump, Ryan has not withdrawn his endorsement.