Donald Trump Takes to Twitter to Stoke a GOP Civil War

“The shackles have been taken off me.”

Evan Vucci/AP, File

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You probably couldn’t tell from the way Donald Trump bulldozes through political norms like a child stomping on a sand castle, but apparently the Republican nominee has not been free to be himself. Until now.

On Tuesday, Trump proclaimed himself free of “shackles” that had been holding him back and proceeded to lash out at House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican establishmentarians who have been distancing themselves from his campaign.

On Monday, Ryan had held a conference call with his caucus and told him he would no longer defend Trump after a 2005 video of the GOP nominee bragging about groping women was released last week. (Ryan, however, has not rescinded his endorsement of Trump.) Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday declared that the party is still wholly behind Trump.

But Trump’s tweetstorm Tuesday is throwing cold water on the unity message the RNC is trying to convey by turning on Ryan and stoking intraparty unrest.

Fifteen minutes later, Trump tweeted again, attacking his party.

Thirty minutes later, he still wasn’t done.

If Trump loses in November, he seems bent on bringing the Republican Party crashing down with him.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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