Breitbart News has published a leaked tape of Paul Ryan telling Republican House members he wouldn't defend Donald Trump over the "Access Hollywood" tape.

I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future.

Ryan continues in the tape: "As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year. And I'm not going to be campaigning with him over the next 30 days."

Why this matters: The timing of the leak. Breitbart is echoing a strategy that we foreshadowed over the weekend: conservatives who want to kill the House Obamacare replacement plan are trying to sow divisions between Ryan and Trump. This tape dredges up painful old memories from the campaign trail of when Ryan abandoned Trump.

These conservatives know the President prizes personal loyalty over all else. Trump often talks about who was with him and who wasn't. In that frame — it's one thing for Trump to read about Ryan's words in the papers. It's quite another for him to hear the audio.

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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
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  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
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Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.