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Story highlights

Sarah Palin once again said she'll back Paul Nehlen

Donald Trump earlier said he would endorse Paul Ryan

(CNN) —  

Sarah Palin reiterated her support for Paul Ryan’s primary challenger Friday night immediately after her political ally, Donald Trump, endorsed the House speaker.

Trump on Friday evening said in Wisconsin that he would back Ryan in his Republican primary against Paul Nehlen, a little-known challenger. That announcement was a reversal from earlier in the week, when the presidential nominee declined to endorse the speaker.

Minutes after Trump announced his support during a rally in Ryan’s home state, Palin wrote on Facebook that she was “proud to be standing with Paul Nehlen since May 9th.”

“Wisconsin, please vote for this man ‘of the people’ this Tuesday!” she wrote.

Nehlen told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on “CNN Newsroom” Saturday that he appreciated Palin’s support and cast Trump’s endorsement of Ryan as a boost for party unity – not support for Ryan’s policies.

“Mr. Trump is unifying the party, and I applaud him for that,” Nehlen said. “I’m so grateful to Ms. Palin and all the people who’ve endorsed me.”

Palin backed Nehlen in May in response to Ryan saying he wasn’t yet ready to support Trump. At the time, she told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that Ryan’s “political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people.”

Palin endorsed Trump in the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses and emerged as one of his highest-profile surrogates during the Republican primary.