On Tuesday morning, following a very public battle with House Speaker Paul Ryan and several prominent Republicans pulling their support for him after the now-infamous 2005 hot mic tape was revealed, Donald Trump sent an ominous tweet: "It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to."
While the Republican presidential nominee did not mention any specific politicians or parties in that tweet, one sent a few minutes later made his target abundantly clear: "With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!"
Trump then shot off a third tweet, even more explicitly attacking his own party: "Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win - I will teach them!"
Since beginning his campaign for the Republican nomination, Trump has had, at best, a tenuous alliance with the party and its leaders. During the primary, he even insulted one of its former presidential nominees and most revered leaders, Sen. John McCain, over his Vietnam War service.
Trump said McCain was "not a war hero,” adding, "I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain is just one of the slew of Republicans in Congress who have withdrawn their support for Trump after comments caught on a hot mic during an Access Hollywood interview in 2005 revealed Trump boasted about non-consensual sexual behavior toward women. Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte, and Rob Portman pulled their endorsements as well. Sens. Mark Kirk, Mike Lee, and John Thune have called on Trump to withdraw.