Andrew Cline /

Donald Trump made it clear Tuesday that he wouldn’t sit idly by after several high-ranking Republicans publicly broke rank with their party’s presidential nominee after Friday’s release of the incendiary 2005 “Access Hollywood” footage of Trump commenting about aggressively kissing and “grabbing” women.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain were among the “Disloyal R’s” (Republicans) Trump targeted. As is his custom, the GOP candidate used Twitter as his preferred medium through which to broadcast his fighting words:

(Fact-checking aside: He didn’t win “every poll,” as this example and these demonstrate.)

It’s not as though Trump’s bellicose reaction couldn’t have been anticipated, but at least one of his longtime supporters expressed hesitation afterward, as The Washington Post reported Tuesday:

Trump’s barbs left some backers unsettled, including Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has been a Trump booster for months and an informal adviser.

“Dr. Carson has been unwavering in his support but the last 24 hours have made that support very difficult to maintain,” Carson adviser Armstrong Williams said in a statement.

Carson said in a brief interview that Trump “would be wise to praise Ryan rather than be at war with him. I keep trying to emphasize to him that the issues are where you win.”

But many others rallied around Trump, including the Republican National Committee. Its chairman, Reince Priebus, was in close touch all day with Trump advisers and RNC strategist Sean Spicer was at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Mica Mosbacher, a Trump fundraiser and surrogate, said she was invited to a fundraiser next week for Ryan’s joint fundraising committee but is not going to attend or contribute because of the way Ryan has treated Trump.

“I don’t feel that Ryan is supporting our nominee and being a team player,” said Mosbacher, who is vowing not to give financial backing to Republicans who have crossed Trump.

Diana Orrock, a Republican National Committeewoman from Nevada, said she will not vote for Republicans who have pulled their support for Trump — including Rep. Joe Heck (Nev.), who is running for a seat that is critical in the battle for the Senate majority.

Despite the near-catastrophic fallout from the “Access Hollywood” reveal, Trump may have taken a significant hit — but judging by the likes of Mosbacher and Orrock, his is going to be a fight that will extend up to, through, and probably beyond Nov. 8.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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