Paul Ryan deserts Trump campaign but won’t formally drop endorsement

A day after contentious debate, the speaker of the House tells congressional members you all need to do whats best for you in your district

Top Republican Paul Ryan deserted Donald Trump on Monday after an aggressive debate attack against Hillary Clinton failed to quell mounting disgust over his attitude toward women.

The speaker of the House told congressional colleagues on a conference call that he would no longer defend Trump or campaign with him. He urged them to do whats best for you to save the partys majority and avoid giving Hillary Clinton a blank check in the White House, though stressed he was not yet formally unendorsing the partys official nominee.

A CNN poll showed 57% of respondents felt Clinton had won the second debate, as a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey taken over the weekend showed her leading Trump by 11 points among likely voters. She is 5.8 points ahead in polling averages calculated by Real Clear Politics, a position that translates into a base of 260 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, with 165 relatively solid for Trump and 113 to play for.

Trump immediately fired back at Ryan on Twitter. Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee, wrote Trump in a blast at the House speaker with whom he has long had a rocky relationship.

Ryan dragged his heels on endorsing Trump after the real estate developer clinched the Republican nomination in May and disinvited him from a joint appearance in Wisconsin on Saturday in the aftermath of the leaked remarks Trump made about women.

As Clinton climbed the steps to board her plane in Westchester, New York, on Monday to depart for a campaign rally in Detroit, a reporter shouted a question about whether she believed Trump would show up for the final debate. Laughing, she replied: Yes.

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