“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump said in a tweet early Tuesday.
Trump’s return to an older scorched-earth strategy comes days after he went head-to-head against Hillary Clinton at the second presidential debate on Sunday. The debate followed a tough weekend for Trump, after a leaked tape of him talking crudely about women forced a number of Republicans to denounce him and rescind their backing of the Republican candidate.
At least 40 Republican congressmen have withdrawn their support — with nearly 30 of them urging Trump to quit the race altogether.
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Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest ranking elected Republican, told party members that he would no longer defend or campaign for Trump – though he stopped short from withdrawing his endorsement. He will instead spend the final month until the election on Senate and House races to help the GOP maintain congressional control.
His move risks alienating hard-line Trump supporters, potentially pitting them against the rest of the Republican Party.
Trump did not take Ryan’s decision well: “Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty,” he tweeted.
“Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support,” he added, claiming the Democrats are more loyal than the Republicans.
Trump will face-off against Clinton at the final debate next week on Oct. 19.