Washington: The Republican leadership appeared bitterly divided over the kind of relationship it should have with the party's presidential candidate Donald Trump after a series of audio and video tapes surfaced in which he made lewd and derogatory comments about women.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, however, strongly dispelled rumours that the party would disconnect itself with Trump in view of the Trump tapes.
Priebus remarks came soon after powerful Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan virtually abandoned Trump.
Ryan yesterday told lawmakers he will no longer "defend" or campaign with Trump and instead focus on maintaining his party's majority in Congress.
In a private conference call with Republican leaders, Priebus said, "I want to make it very clear that the RNC is in full coordination with the Trump campaign, and we have a great relationship with them. If there's any takeaway from this call, that's the takeaway."
"Nothing has changed in regard with our relationship and we remain very much involved and together in all levels of making these decisions with how to run this operation across this country," Priebus said.
During another conference call, he told party leaders he will spend rest of his time in protecting the majority of his party in the House of Representatives.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz said he is still backing Trump as he does not want his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to occupy the White House.
"I am supporting the Republican nominee because I think Hillary Clinton is an absolute disaster," he said.
One of the Trump's close supporter Newt Gingrich warned the party leadership of opposing the party's presidential nominee.
"My only advice to Republican leaders is simple: In the end, you either help defeat Hillary Clinton or you help elect Hillary Clinton," he said in a Gingrich Facebook Live.
"If she gets elected, she will be a nightmare, this will be the most corrupt and dishonest administration in American history, and you will find her even harder to work with than [President Barack] Obama, because she will simply smother you," Gingrich said.
Former Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain who withdrew his endorsement of Trump over the weekend said he might "write in" Lindsey Graham for US President.
"It's not pleasant for me to renounce nominee of my party. I have daughters," he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the attendees at an election rally they should not ask him about the presidential race.
"If you are interested in the presidential election, you might as well go ahead and leave because I don't have any observations to make about it," McConnell said.
Trump's candidacy suffered a blow after a 2005 tape was released in which he made lewd and derogatory comments about women.