Donald Trump signalled on Tuesday morning that his campaign would no longer be restrained by advice from Republican Party officials.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” the real-estate tycoon wrote on Twitter.
The tweet came amid a feud with House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking elected Republican in the country.
A day earlier, Ryan told Republican members of Congress on a conference call that he would no longer defend or campaign for Trump.
Ryan’s announcement prompted Trump to descend into a Tuesday morning tweetstorm in which he attacked the Wisconsin Republican as a “disloyal” and “weak and ineffective leader.”
It’s been a whirlwind span of a few days for Trump.
On Friday, controversy was ignited when a 2005 tape leaked in which Trump was captured on a hot mic boasting about kissing and groping women. The Republican nominee said at the time he could “grab” women “by the p—y” because “when you’re a star they let you do it.”
Within hours, and lasting throughout the weekend, Republicans started to flee Trump in unprecedented numbers. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, John Thune, and other prominent Republican governors, senators, and House representatives unendorsed and condemned Trump.
Trump’s poll numbers took a dive in the following days, with an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing him down 14 points to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a two-way race.
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