Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is reportedly unhappy that Republican nominee Donald Trump won't endorse key Republican figures in upcoming primaries.
Priebus is "apoplectic" over Trump's refusal to back Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, according to a source who spoke to NBC News.
The RNC chairman reportedly called several Trump staffers, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to express his “extreme displeasure” over Trump's snubs.
Trump also gave a widely reported Twitter shout out to Paul Nehlen, the businessman who is running against Ryan in the Republican primary for the House speaker's congressional district in Wisconsin on an anti-establishment platform inspired by the Republican presidential nominee. Nehlen harshly criticized Ryan in a blog post about the House speaker's rebuke of Trump's policy proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“If Speaker Ryan -- who clearly hasn’t thought this all the way through -- rejects the notion of a 'religious test' for immigration, then we, as a nation, would not be able to block entry to ISIS soldiers who embrace and carry out the Sharia law version of Islam,” Nehlen wrote on Aug. 1.
“Thanks to @pnehlen for your kind words, very much appreciated,” Trump tweeted later that day.
And when asked directly if he would endorse Ryan, Trump said he wasn't ready to do so.
"I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country," Trump told The Washington Post. "We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I'm just not quite there yet. I'm not quite there yet."
Trump's answer appeared to be a dig at Ryan's hesitancy to endorse Trump in May, when it became clear the billionaire would win the GOP nomination.
"I'm just not ready to do that at this point," Ryan told CNN when asked if he would endorse Trump. "I'm not there right now."
Although the odds of Nehlen winning an upset victory over Ryan are slim, his association with Trump has helped him win the endorsements of conservative media firebrands like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, which could make him a formidable opponent against the House speaker, reported NBC News.
In Arizona, McCain is running against two opponents, former state Sen. Kelli Ward and tea party activist Clair Van Steenwyk.
Like Ryan, McCain is also being criticized by opponents from his own party who say he has become too cozy with the Washington elite.
“After 33 years in Washington, John McCain has become the ultimate establishment insider and Hillary’s favorite Republican," Ward said, according to AZCentral.