One day after warning the GOP that his "shackles" are off, Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE floated the prospect of a "sinister deal" preventing Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire Trump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) from coming to his defense.


Trump at a Florida rally on Wednesday questioned why Ryan, who effectively conceded Trump's White House chances during a call with lawmakers this week, wouldn't come out and congratulate him after Sunday's presidential debate.

"Wouldn't you think Paul Ryan would call and say, 'good going'?" Trump asked in Ocala.

"You'd think they'd say, 'Great going, Don. Let's go, let's beat this crook. Let's beat her. We've got to stop her.' No, he doesn't do that. There's a whole deal going on. We're going to figure it out. I always figure things out. There's a whole sinister deal."

It's the latest evidence of a deepening fracture between the GOP nominee and his party's establishment less than one month before the election. It all comes while frantic Republicans face the fallout of Friday's release of damaging audio in which Trump talks about groping women without their consent.

More than two-dozen lawmakers called on Trump to withdraw as the nominee and leave the top of the ticket to his running mate, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence undergoes surgery to receive pacemaker Pelosi says she would have put up a fight against Capitol mob: 'I'm a street fighter' Trump alumni launch America First Policy Institute MORE. But Trump has emphatically sworn off the idea, telegraphing all-out warfare against the party with a series of Tuesday morning tweets declaring that the "shackles" put on him by establishment Republicans are now off.

The discontent all comes as Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants MORE continues to expand her lead at the polls. Those top-of-the-ticket gains have prompted Republicans and Democrats alike to begin to wonder if the fallout could deliver the Senate to the Democrats and even put House control in play.

Trump has shown no sign of playing nice with the party, putting him at odds with the Speaker, who agreed to take the post last year in the hopes of building party unity.

Ryan repudiated Trump's 2005 comments in a statement over the weekend. But while the Wisconsin Republican did not withdraw his endorsement officially, he told lawmakers this week he would no longer defend Trump or campaign with him. Instead, Ryan said that he would  focus on maintaining the House majority as a check on Clinton if she wins.

Ryan's decision has drawn the ire of Trump and his allies.

The GOP nominee tore into Ryan on Fox News's "The O'Reilly Factor" on Tuesday night, saying he doesn't want Ryan's support and that the Speaker is the only person who could lose to President Obama in a negotiation.

And while a number of lawmakers criticized Ryan for his decision during this week's private lawmaker call, Rep. Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineBill Nelson's nomination as NASA administrator is replete with irony Biden to nominate Bill Nelson to head NASA: reports The Biden administration endorses NASA's Artemis, the Space Force MORE (R-Okla.) tweeted Wednesday that he could no longer support Ryan if the Speaker doesn't back Trump.

Trump's inner circle includes at least one operative who has long advocated for Ryan's political destruction, The Hill reported exclusively on Tuesday

Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, then head of conservative news website Breitbart, told a reporter that he hoped to see Ryan "gone" by this past spring.

--This report was updated at 2:56 p.m.