Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the U.S. Congress, took the extraordinary step on Monday of distancing himself from Donald Trump, risking a backlash from lawmakers and deepening the crisis over his party's struggling presidential nominee. In a conference call with congressional Republicans, Ryan all but conceded that Democrat Hillary Clinton was likely to win the White House on Nov. 8 and said he would put his full energy into preserving Republican majorities in Congress so as not to give her a "blank check." Trump was quick to respond to Ryan's plan.
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee.Tweet from Donald Trump
Ryan's announcement came days after a 2005 video of Trump was posted in which he discussed attempting to have sex with a married woman and how he would initiate contact with women he was sexually interested in by grabbing their genitals. In the no-holds-barred presidential debate on Sunday, the Republican nominee raised eyebrows by saying he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton and that if he were president, she would be “in jail.” Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Monday that his comment was made in jest.
It was a quip. Whether she goes to jail is not up to Donald Trump.Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager