WASHINGTON — Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan said they had a productive meeting Thursday and see a great chance to unite the Republican Party and win the presidential election in November.

Ryan said at a news conference after the meeting that he was “very encouraged by what I heard from Donald Trump” in their much-anticipated meeting.

The Wisconsin lawmaker – who has yet to say he’s ready to back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee – said “it’s not a secret” that the two have had “our differences.”

Ryan said the big question is “what do we need to do to unify the party.” He said they’re “planting the seeds” to accomplish that goal.

In a joint statement released after the morning meeting at party headquarters on Capitol Hill, the presumptive GOP nominee and the party’s top elected official said they are “totally committed to working together” to achieve that goal.

They said they were “honest about our few differences” but also recognized “many important areas of common ground.”

The two said it’s critical for Republicans to united around “our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda and do all we can to win this fall.”

Trump held back-to-back meetings with Ryan and the party chairman, Reince Priebus, and then sat down with other members of the House Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise.

In a tweet, Priebus said the meeting with Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan was “a very positive step toward party unity.”


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