WASHINGTON: Thursday’s high-stakes meeting between Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan marks a critical point in the billionaire’s presidential quest, with party grandees pressured to close ranks and support the presumptive nominee. Ryan, the top-ranked Republican currently elected to public office, dropped a bombshell and triggered soul-searching within a fractured party last week when he said he was “just not ready” to support Trump as the flagbearer. The concerns have trickled down to many in the congressional rank and file who fear a Trump nomination could doom their efforts to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November and hold the majority in the Senate and House of Representatives. With the party divided, Trump and the Republican establishment aim to put differences aside ahead of what is expected to be a brutal campaign battle against Clinton. But many GOP luminaries have watched aghast as the provocative New York real estate mogul Trump has insulted Mexicans, demeaned women and called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.