Donald Trump on Tuesday night continued his war on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and members of the Republican establishment, explaining that when he said that the “shackles have been taken off me” in a Tuesday tweet, he was referring to Ryan and other Republican lawmakers.
When Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly first asked Trump what he meant by his “shackles” tweet, Trump launched into a tirade about Ryan.
“Well, we’ve been having a problem, we have millions and millions of followers, we set records in the primaries, we have a group of people that want to see America be great again, and Paul Ryan, you know, open borders and amnesty, and lots of —and bad budgets, by the way, very, very bad budgets,” he said. “Frankly, the only one that Obama negotiates well with is Paul Ryan with the budgets because that’s the only negotiation he can win.”
O’Reilly again tried to clarify what Trump meant with the word “shackles.”
“The shackles are some of the establishment people that are weak and ineffective people within the Republican party, senators and others, and Paul Ryan, led to a certain extent by Paul Ryan, being nasty to the nominee,” Trump replied.
When asked if Republicans were holding Trump back, the Republican nominee responded, “Not a question of holding back, no, but they’re not giving support.” He then said he may be better off without their support.
O’Reilly noted that in the same tweet, Trump said that without the “shackles,” he could now campaign his own way. He asked Trump how he could be more outspoken.
“I don’t think I’m that outspoken to be honest with you Bill,” Trump replied.
O’Reilly balked, saying, “You’re about as blunt as they come in political circles.”
Trump again complained about a lack of support from Ryan.
“And I don’t really want his support. If he calls now and wants to — this happens all the time, if you sneeze he calls and announces isn’t that a terrible thing,” he said.
O’Reilly also asked Trump about his attacks on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) after the senator pulled his endorsement of Trump over the 2005 tape revealing vulgar comments Trump made about women.
“He was desperate to get my endorsement,” Trump said of McCain. “I gave him the endorsement because he needed it for the primary. And frankly he ran against a very, very good woman – I feel very badly I gave the endorsement, but that’s okay.”
“He ends up getting my endorsement. He easily wins his primary, he easily wins his primary and then all of a sudden you know he does the unendorsement thing,” Trump continued.
O’Reilly noted that McCain dropped his endorsement because of the 2005 tape.
“Oh give me a break! He’s never heard salty language before?!” Trump said in respsonse. “You know John McCain who has probably the dirtiest mouth in all of the Senate has never heard — You know he talked about ‘lewd’, ‘It’s lewd language.’ He’s never heard that before?”
And when asked why he has repeatedly trashed Republican lawmakers, Trump said, “because he was begging for my endorsement, people are calling, his friends are calling, and then the first sign of a little bit of difficulty, he unendorses. I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you, including Ryan.”
Watch the interview via Fox News: