Trump lashes out at ‘disloyal’ Republicans
EMBATTLED presidential hopeful Donald Trump lashed out against “disloyal” Republicans in a ranting tweetstorm, deepening a split that threatens the future of the 162-yearold party.
Declaring himself unchained from party strictures, the White House nominee berated Republican leaders for offering “zero support” and promised a bareknuckle 28-day campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Mr Trump ridiculed the party’s 2008 White House nominee John McCain as “very foul mouthed”. He called Paul Ryan, the nation’s top elected Republican, a “weak and ineffective leader”.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Mr Trump said in a cyber outburst. “I will teach them!”
Relations between Mr Trump and party leaders have always been strained – from the outset many considered the bombastic realityTV-star-turned-politico unfit to take up the mantle of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
But the key issue has been Mr Trump’s steep fall in the polls after the emergence of a video in which he bragged about groping women.
US President Barack Obama addressed the scandal on October 11, after White House spokesperson Josh Earnest earlier in the day called the comments “repugnant” and said most people would consider the actions described as “sexual assault”.
“You don’t have to be a husband or a father to say that’s not right. You just have to be a decent human being,” Mr Obama said while campaigning for Ms Clinton.
Mr Trump has apologised for the comments, saying they were just “locker-room” banter.
The latest Real Clear Politics polling average has Ms Clinton ahead by six points across the country, and the latest polls show her ahead in a slew of must-win states for Mr Trump.
With his campaign in a tailspin, Mr Trump seemed determined to ram a wedge between party leaders and the radicalised grassroots that propelled his political career.
He is fuelling an intra-party war, with streams of Republicans saying they will vote for Ms Clinton and Mr Trump’s fans vowing to bring down Congressional leaders like Mr Ryan and Mr McCain.
Mr Trump’s anger seems to have been prompted by Mr Ryan suggesting in a conference call with Republican lawmakers that they stop defending the party nominee and focus on limiting electoral losses in Congress next month.
“Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win. I will teach them!” Mr Trump tweeted.
Mr Obama said it “does not make sense” that some Republicans express their disapproval of Mr Trump’s lurid comments but continue to support him for the White House. – THE head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, John Podesta, slammed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for helping Republican rival Donald Trump in the bitter White House race, while accusing Moscow of being behind the hack.
The anti-secrecy website has published thousands of emails from John Podesta’s personal Gmail account since October 7.
While there have been no major damaging revelations, the massive leak does lift the veil on Team Clinton’s inner workings.
Mr Podesta described the timing of the leak as a “curious coincidence”, coming shortly after The Washington Post published a shock video of Mr Trump making lewd boasts about groping women in 2005.
The veteran political aide, who served in the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations, suggested that the release “was their countermove to try to take the public’s attention off the despicable things that Trump said on that video”.
“I would say that the Russian interference in this election and their attempt to influence it on behalf of Mr Trump should be of concern to all Americans,” Mr Podesta said.
President Barack Obama’s administration has accused Russia of directing cyber attacks on American political organisations to “interfere” with the election, and vowed to respond at an undisclosed time and place.
Mr Podesta said he had received confirmation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that agents are “investigating the criminal hack of my email”. –