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Ryan, don't waste time fighting me: Trump

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says the House of Representatives' Speaker Paul Ryan, the party's top elected official, should "not waste his time" opposing the party's nominee.

"Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee," Trump said in a post on Twitter on Monday.

The leader of the US House of Representatives is distancing himself from Trump as the Republican presidential candidate's campaign sinks deeper into crisis over his sexually aggressive remarks about women.

Ryan told an emergency meeting of fellow Republican lawmakers on Monday that he would neither defend Trump or campaign with him in the coming 30 days, the time remaining to the presidential and congressional elections, but would focus on protecting Republican majorities in Congress.

His comments were made during a conference call by Republicans in the US Congress, a source familiar with the call said.

The call was arranged to work out how to handle the fallout from a video that surfaced on Friday showing the Republican nominee making lewd comments about women in 2005.

Ryan said that he would spend the remainder of the election campaign making sure that if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins in November she does not get a "blank check" in the form of Democrat-controlled Congress, the source said.

Republicans currently control both the House and Senate.

The latest drama around Trump, a New York businessman who has never previously run for public office, has plunged the party into its biggest crisis in decades.

Ryan has had several public disagreements with Trump but until now has nonetheless supported his presidential bid.

During a weekend dominated by criticism of Trump over the remarks about women, a string of members of Congress, governors and other prominent Republicans called on him to drop out of the race.

Republican members of Congress are worried that Trump's campaign could ruin their chances of holding their majorities in the elections and inflict long-term damage on the party.

Nearly half of all 332 incumbent Republican senators, congress members and governors have condemned Trump's remarks, and roughly one in 10 have called on him to drop out of the race, according to a Reuters review of official statements and local news coverage.

But any attempt to replace Trump on the ballot this close to election day would face huge legal and logistical hurdles.

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