Report: RNC redirecting funds away from Trump
© Greg Nash

The Republican National Committee (RNC) will redirect funds intended to help Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE's presidential campaign to prioritize down-ballot candidates, The Wall Street Journal reported late Saturday.

The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. But Sean Spicer, the RNC's chief strategist, took to Twitter to say the story is "not true" and called Reid Epstein's reporting "false." 

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Citing an unidentified official, the Journal said that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made the call to focus on House and Senate races on Saturday after the GOP was thrust into chaos over newly revealed sexually explicit remarks that Trump made in 2005.

The GOP nominee has not made the large-scale ground-game investments that are typical of a major-party nominee. So the RNC has picked up the lion's share of that slack. Before this move, the RNC's field staff prioritized Trump, meaning that they would focus first on turning out voters for Trump, even if that meant those voters may not support GOP candidates down the ballot.

The shift in priorities reported by the Journal would mean that the RNC would instead target voters who would vote for Republicans down the ballot, even if they planned to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE.

The report comes as top Republicans stage a historic mass exodus from their nominee one day after the release of a lewd video involving Trump's comments. Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGun proposal picks up GOP support Overnight Regulation: Senate panel approves driverless car bill | House bill to change joint-employer rule advances | Treasury to withdraw proposed estate tax rule | Feds delaying Obama methane leak rule Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (S.D.), the Senate's third-highest-ranking Republican, took to Twitter to call on Trump to step down.

More than two dozen lawmakers are calling on Trump to step down or have withdrawn their endorsements.

Trump, however, emphatically declared he would not drop out in a message on Twitter on Saturday.

Legal experts are skeptical that the party could remove Trump without his consent. But if Trump were to step down, the RNC would vote on a new nominee after a meeting with its 168-member committee.

The decade-old video shows Trump talking about trying to have sex with a married woman and brushing aside consent.

"You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait," he said, according to the audio released by The Washington Post.

"When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything ... grab them by the p---y."

Earlier Saturday, Politico reported that the RNC directed a mailing vendor to hold off on all projects related to the RNC-Trump joint fund.

— This report was update at 9:13 p.m.