Speaker won't defend or campaign for nominee, he tells colleagues.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) said in a conference call with his GOP House colleagues that he would stop defending Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and wouldn’t campaign with him before the election.

Craig Gilbert, the Journal Sentinel’s Washington bureau chief, points out that the stand is not a big change from what he calls Ryan’s “tepid” endorsement of Trump – but Gilbert characterizes the move as the party’s highest elected official “virtually washing his hands of his nominee.”

Trump has been the center of a media storm since the release Friday of an 11-year-old video of the real-estate mogul speaking lewdly about groping women.