Donald Trump Takes to Twitter to Stoke a GOP Civil War

“The shackles have been taken off me.”

Evan Vucci/AP, File

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 (Ryan, however, has not rescinded his endorsement of Trump.)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.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.