In an excrutiatingly uncomfortable interview with NBC News, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) revealed just how much he hates Donald Trump being the presumptive Republican nominee.
Pressed by NBC's Chuck Todd on whether he was choosing the good of the Republican Party over the good of the country, Ryan insisted he was not. But he also made clear that he was only supporting Trump because of his leadership role in the party.
"Imagine the Speaker of the House not supporting the duly elected nominee of our party, therefore creating a chasm in our party that splits us in half?" said Ryan.
When Todd asked about the wisdom of backing Trump, who, he said, may do lasting damage to the party, Ryan absolved himself by pointing to Republican voters.
"The voters voted for him," said Ryan. "That's the choice they made. That's not something I can control."
After making clear he resented the voters' selection of Trump and having all but admitted that he was powerless in the face of political pressure to fall in line with Trump, Ryan assured conservatives that he would have the strength to stand up against him in the future.
If Trump does anything that "puts a bad label on conservatism," Ryan said, he will "speak out," like he's done in the past.
While Ryan signaled that as speaker he must toe the party line, he underscored that voters didn't have to do the same. "The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience," he said.
As for those calling for a revolt at the convention to block Trump, Ryan again tried to take himself out of the equation, saying it's "not my job" to tell the delegates what to do at the convention.
"They write the rules," he said. "They make their decisions."
The speaker also had some advice for Trump: "Run a campaign we can all be proud of. Run a campaign that's inclusive and aspirational," adding, "The question is whether he chooses to do so or not."
As for the current push for gun control by the Left, Ryan argued that Constitutionally protected "due process" must not be violated, but also said that the federal government must make sure that we handle the terrorist watch list the "right" way.
"We're going to take a deep breath, and make sure that this is done correctly, so that the policy of making sure the authorities know, and have time to respond if a person who is on a terrorist watch list is trying to buy a gun, that they're notified. That we want to make sure we get right," said Ryan.
Partial transcript, video excerpts via NBC News.