As an unshackled Donald Trump declared war on Republicans who deserted him in recent days over his sexist remarks in a 2005 recording, he has come under fresh attack from Democrats over his support for "Russian meddling" in the race for the White House.
Addressing a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said of the Republican nominee "when you welcome Russian meddling in our electoral process, then you’re disregarding not just things like facts or evidence or a free press, but you’re chipping away at basic values like tolerance, and due process, and mutual respect".
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta linked the release of his hacked emails by WikiLeaks to a Trump aide saying he had "advance warning about what Assange (WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange) was going to do", and reprised the allegation that these hackings were being carried out by Russia, which wants to help Trump.
The Republican nominee has denied he has any links with Russia, but his very public admiration for President Vladimir Putin and, as pointed out by Obama, invitation to Russia to hack Clinton has made it impossible for him to make a convincing case for himself.
The US has officially accused the Russian government of hacking the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and other entities and has threatened a "proportional response". Moscow has denied any role in the hackings and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the accusations "flattering" but "ridiculous" in an interview to CNN.
The hacking controversy, however, is just one of the many Trump is dealing with. "Disloyal R's (Republicans) are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win - I will teach them," he said in a tweet on Tuesday.
He has publicly castigated Speaker Paul Ryan for saying he will not defend Trump anymore and called Senator John McCain, who has rescinded his endorsement of Trump, "foul mouthed". Some Republicans have since fallen in line and the party has rallied behind the nominee, but the split in the party is a reality no one is denying any more.
And the nominee has, it seems, decided to brazen it out, saying, again in a tweet, "It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to."