Trump's attack on Ryan seen as advance scapegoating

GOP strategists said it was incredibly unhelpful to attack Ryan, which is further inflaming Republican tensions and knocking the party off message in the final stretch before the critical midterm elections.

They also maintain it will be impossible for the president to escape blame, given that he has urged his supporters to envision him on the ballot this fall.

“Attacking Paul Ryan, who has busted his butt for the House Republican team, on the eve of this midterm is gobsmackingly counterproductive and wrong-headed, particularly since the President has been 100 percent clear that this election is a referendum on his leadership and his administration,” political strategist Michael Steel, who served as former Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) spokesman, told The Hill.

Trump’s broadside was also interpreted as a sign that he and the White House have given up on saving the House.