"As Trump's numbers crater many House and Senate Republicans will find themselves on the wrong side of polling trends", said Joshua Huder, a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. But GOP leaders had hoped to prevent an all-out civil war at least until after the election. Trump obeys a simple principle in his relationships: he is friendly to those who are friendly to him, and nasty to those who are not, until they recant.
"With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nomination, the Democrats have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!", Trump said.
It's so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has not rescinded his endorsement, made waves Monday when he told members that he would not campaign for Trump, but instead focus on down-ballot races.
With his campaign in a tailspin, Trump seemed determined to ram a wedge between party leaders and the radicalized grassroots that propelled his political career.
"Disloyal R's are far more hard than Crooked Hillary", he wrote for his more than 12 million followers on Twitter, his preferred platform for picking fights.
And on Fox News Tuesday night, Trump unleashed another tirade against McCain and the House speaker, saying he "wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you, including Ryan".
Trump is now free to run against Washington as a whole, which is likely what he meant by tweeting Tuesday morning that "the shackles have been taken off me".
OH senator Rob Portman is among those who is not supporting Trump.
"Given the stakes of this election, If Paul Ryan isn't for Trump, then I'm not for Paul Ryan", Bridenstine tweeted.
Trump's base-rallying debate performance guarantees that endangered Republicans can not easily distance themselves from their nominee, lest they unleash the fury of Trump's basket of deplorables.
Trump's campaign was thrown into crisis with the release of audio from 2005 that captured Trump making vulgar remarks and bragging about how his fame allowed him to "do anything" to women.
He's seeking to reframe the competition as a referendum on Democrat Hillary Clinton's fitness for office in light of revelations included in documents released by Wikileaks. Trump asked the crowd in Ocala.
She said she would not continue to call for Trump to step aside.
However, Ryan maintained that he was still endorsing and voting for Trump.
His scorched-earth approach, days after his sexually predatory language caught on tape triggered a mass Republican defection, threatened to alienate even more supporters.
"It's nearly impossible to see how the events of the last several days can do anything but harm him with this critical group of women", he said.
Both Trump and Clinton head to the key battleground state of Florida with campaign events later on Tuesday. Among their accusations: the e-mails showed Clinton campaign staffers coordinated with the Department of Justice on the investigation into her use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state.
The evidence does indicate there was communication between the two about a court hearing date.
Trump, 70, who has portrayed himself as tough on national security, released a hard-hitting television advertisement on Tuesday featuring footage of Clinton, a 68-year-old former secretary of state, stumbling last month after leaving a service commemorating the September 11 attacks. As images flash of Clinton coughing into her fist, stumbling while walking up the stairs, and almost collapsing as she is guided into her vehicle at a September 11 event this year - when she was suffering from pneumonia - the narrator warns that "Hillary Clinton doesn't have the fortitude, strength, or stamina to lead in our world". She doesn't give up.
Trump has said that will never happen.
"And I don't really want his support". "I would call it a blatantly sexist ad".
Trump's tactics threaten to plunge the GOP into intraparty warfare ahead of the elections, with potentially catastrophic results for the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
Ripping the band aid off deep divisions within the Republican Party, Donald Trump declared war Tuesday on GOP members who have turned against him and vowed to continue campaigning as he sees fit.