Donald Trump blasted House Speaker Paul Ryan this morning as the GOP erupted in internecine battle over an Access Hollywood tape in which the Republican presidential candidate said he was so famous he could grope women with impunity.
Trump’s latest Twitter tirade, which is keeping TV news outlets hopping this morning, comes after Ryan told fellow Republicans he would not campaign with the candidate through the election and was done defending him.
In the contentious phone call with fellow Republicans just four weeks before the election, Ryan said Monday he would use the next month to make sure Congress stays under GOP control, campaigning on behalf of down-ticket candidates, but will not engage with Trump. He has, however, not pulled his endorsement of Trump.
Meanwhile, Billy Bush was expected to be taken off Today after the NBC news division’s Sunday decision to suspend him. Until then, the cousin of Jeb Bush thought he was going on the air Monday and address the tape, following an initial statement issued Friday in which he was embarrassed by its release and was less mature 11 years ago. Bush was suspended Sunday for an indefinite, but expected to be fairly short, period of time. NBC is investigating potential workplace issues in Bush’s reaction to Trump’s admission he tried to bed Bush’s co-host at the time. Also raising eyebrows is Bush’s decision, on tape, to ask an NBC soap actress to hug and kiss Trump, immediately after the then-star of NBC’s The Apprentice made his remarks about kissing and groping women.
Adding to the company’s headache, the TV news industry still is abuzz this morning about NBC News having hired a participant in a presidential campaign-changing tape, and yet managing to get skunked on the story by the Washington Post.
At Sunday’s second presidential debate, Trump noted he had apologized for the remarks caught on the hot mic in 2005, and was not proud of them, but insisted it was “locker room talk.” When pressed by moderator Anderson Cooper, Trump said he had not done the things he claimed in the tape. Also at the debate, Trump said he wanted to put Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in jail if he is elected. Before the debate, Trump staged a photo op with women who previously have claimed to have been attacked by Clinton or her husband.
Though Trump this morning insists he won every post-debate poll by a landslide, he cites unscientific online polls, and those are not the results in more reliable polls: