The following is an excerpt from KATY TUR and BENJY SARLIN | October 9, 2016 | msnbc.com |
NEW YORK — Under siege from a growing brigade of Republican officials demanding Donald Trump step down, the candidate's campaign team and dwindling number of allies struggled to respond on Sunday, just hours before a crucial second debate with Hillary Clinton.
At Trump Tower in Manhattan, where the candidate holed up after the 2005 Access Hollywood tape surfaced, stalwart Trump backers including son Eric Trump and campaign CEO Steve Bannon projected a sunny image to reporters as they left the building, saying things were on track for the debate.
But as dozens of top Republicans continue to publicly abandon Trump, sources tell NBC News his campaign and party apparatus are going through an intense bout of soul searching, with no unified message on how to proceed. The sources were granted anonymity in order to speak candidly.
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