With the U.S. election less than a month away, House Speaker Paul Ryan has been contemplating withdrawing his endorsement of Donald Trump, in the wake of lewd comments about groping women and sexually aggressive remarks made by the Republican presidential nominee in 2005, Politico reported.
Ryan has discussed the matter with fellow Republicans and governors and is likely to have a conference call with his inner circle Monday. Sources, who are familiar with the discussions, confirmed to Politico that though the decision hasn't been made yet, the Speaker has expressed dismay over Trump's campaign.
The review with close advisers came after a video of Trump talking in vulgar language about his sexual exploits surfaced Friday, two days before the second presidential debate.
"I think they all face the same dilemma to varying degrees," a senior House Republican leadership aide told Politico. "How to express displeasure in a meaningful way . . . How best to help members in tough races . . . How to try to rebuild the party post the anticipated apocalypse. I think they are all having individual and group discussions wrestling with this."
Trump's performance in Sunday's debate seems unlikely to mend the deep breach he has opened in the Republican Party. Many Republicans have considered distancing themselves from their presidential nominee.
Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said Trump's "demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy."
By late Saturday, as many as 36 Republican members of Congress and governors had disavowed Trump's candidacy, The New York Times reported.
While other leading Republicans called on Trump to quit the race, the billionaire businessman vowed he would never step aside. "I think a lot of people underestimate how loyal my supporters are," he told the Times.
Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kennedy, have all condemned Trump's 2005 comments. However, Trump on Sunday night brushed it aside calling it "locker room talk."
"I apologized to my family, I apologized to the American people. Certainly I'm not proud of it, but this is locker room talk," Trump said. "Yes, I'm very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it's locker room talk."
Meanwhile, a number of Senate and House Republicans have already made it official that they won't back Trump.
An editorial in The Wall Street Journal Sunday suggested GOP congressional leaders withdraw their support for Trump if in order to save their majorities.
"They can't be blamed for breaking from Mr. Trump if that is what their consciences demand or if that is the best path to political survival this year," the Journal's editorial board wrote.
"At some point Republicans running for the House and Senate may have to mobilize voters with an argument that they need them as a check on Hillary Clinton."
Aggravating matters before the second presidential debate, Trump met with women who accused former President Bill Clinton of rape and unwanted sexual advances at an event broadcast on Facebook. The Republican nominee appeared with Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton but did not take questions.
The Republicans were hoping Trump would not attack Bill Clinton given that he has been out of office for almost 17 years. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign reacted saying, the event was a part of Trump's "destructive race to the bottom."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.