03:36 GMT07 July 2020
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    In the wake of the leaked video that shows Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump boasting about sexual assault, a historic rift has formed between a major US political party and its chosen candidate. Could even more damning footage be on its way?

    Four weeks before Election Day, the Republican Party appears to be imploding. An Access Hollywood tape in which Trump can be heard bragging about how he can "grab them by the p***y," referring to women, led dozens of high-profile Republicans to renounce their endorsements of the candidate, with some even calling for him to drop out of the race.

    On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan indicated that he would no longer defend Trump, instead focusing the party’s efforts on helping down-ballot candidates.

    "The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities," Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said in a statement.

    Never one to keep his opinions to himself, Trump seems to be relishing his newfound isolation.

    "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 billionaire tweeted Tuesday morning, also going after Ryan personally.

    "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!"

    Trump also went after Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who also publicly rescinded his endorsement.

    With the party deeply divided, the worst could be yet to come. A producer of Trump’s reality show "The Apprentice" claims that footage exists of the presidential hopeful using racial slurs.

    On Monday, radio DJ Shane Powers alleged that Trump used similar language on a golf course.

    "Donald Trump was on the golf course with three other guys," Powers said, according to The Wrap. "He looked over at the guys, and he said, 'Yo.' And I’m paraphrasing – 'You ever f**k a [n-word].' The three guys' mouths fell agape."

    "And then I guess Donald followed that up by saying, 'No, no, you really gotta try it. I know it might seem' – and again, I’m paraphrasing – 'I know it might seem whatever, but again, you gotta try it. You gotta try it once,'" Powers added.

    The Trump campaign had not yet responded to these allegations as of Tuesday afternoon.

    While Trump has publicly made many controversial comments throughout the campaign, the Access Hollywood video appears to be the first scandal to have a real effect on his poll numbers. Since Friday, multiple outlets show Clinton with a double-digit lead.

    On Tuesday, the White House also voiced its disapproval of Trump’s comments, with press secretary Josh Earnest saying "those statements consisted of sexual assault."

    "The president found that tape as repugnant as most Americans did," he told reporters.


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    2016 election, GOP, RNC, John McCain, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, United States
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