Donald Trump may drop out of the presidential race in exchange for a $150 million payment from Republicans, one former adviser floated this week as the GOP nominee’s campaign seems to be crashing down around him.
After Trump wrapped up the nomination with a dominant win in Indiana now nearly two months ago, he saw a bump as voters previously aligned to other candidates came into his camp. Trump spent some of that time mending fences with party leaders who had openly criticized him before, building a shaky alliance among Republicans that helped Trump reach his first lead in the polls against Hillary Clinton at the end of May.
But as quickly as it came together, that unity has been shattered after Trump has gotten into controversy after controversy, from his criticism of the Mexican-American judge overseeing the fraud lawsuit against Trump University to the response to the Orlando shooting in which Trump appeared to congratulate himself for predicting an act of Islamic terrorism in the United States.
There is now a renewed movement to dump Donald Trump from the nomination, and one former Trump insider believes that the real estate mogul could be paid off. Jim Dornan, a former Trump adviser, told Politico this week that when it comes to leaving the presidential race, Trump may have a price.
“I bet if someone offered him $150 million to drop out, he would,” Dornan said.
Dornan added that there would be a number of big Republican donors who would sign onto the effort, including the deep-pocketed Koch brothers who have already said they won’t endorse Trump. There were reports this week that the Republican National Committee, fearful that the impending blowout loss for Donald Trump could cost the GOP the Senate and a number of seats in the House, is planning to filter money away from Trump and to downticket candidates.
Trump slammed the story, however, saying he would not be dropping out for any reason.
“This story is a total fabrication from you and POLITICO, as usual,” Trump told the publication. “I will never leave the race, nobody has enough money to pay me to leave the race, and if they did, it would be totally illegal anyway. Did Obama and the Clintons get you to write this garbage?”
The plan seems far-fetched anyway, with no donors likely coming forward to chip in millions of dollars to stop Donald Trump when they could instead filter it to more vulnerable congressional candidates. But the fact that the story is being discussed with some level of seriousness underscores the fear enveloping the Republican Party over the prospect of several months more of Trump’s controversies.
Trump hinted at the tension with the Republican Party this weekend, saying at a rally in Las Vegas that he would like to see more support.
“We’re going to beat Hillary. And it would be helpful if the Republicans could help us a little bit,” Trump said (via ABC News).
Donald Trump also said that if the Republican Party goes through with plans to filter money away from his campaign, he will simply go it alone.
“I want them to come together, it’s great. But if for any reason they get a little bit like they don’t want to help out as much, then I’ll fund my own campaign. I’d love to do that. I’d love to do that. You know, right now, I’m raising a lot of money for the Republican party,” he said.
But there are some insiders who believe the rumors that the Republican Party may dump Donald Trump as the nominee are little more than a power play on the part of the GOP, an attempt to help bring Trump in line instead of bucking the party as he has throughout his campaign. Those efforts have failed to yield any results so far.
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