RNC: ‘No discussions’ on cutting off Trump funds
A top Republican National Committee strategist is pushing back against a report that says the RNC is discussing cutting off support and funds to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“There are no discussions,” Sean Spicer said in a statement to The Hill.
Politico reported that GOP officials have privately discussed cutting off support and funding to Trump and instead focusing their efforts on down-ballot candidates.
“As usual Politico has manufactured a story to get clicks,” Spicer added. He also labeled the story as “faux reporting” in a tweet.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) August 14, 2016
Operatives told Politico that if the RNC waits to see if Trump can turn his campaign around by mid-October, it might be too late for the resources to be diverted.
“Early voting in Ohio starts in a few weeks, there’s a 45-day window for absentee voters, so mid-September would probably be the latest the RNC could redeploy assets and have any real impact,” an RNC member told Politico.
“The only thing you could change in mid-October would be to shift some TV ads, maybe try to prop up Senate candidates in tough races like [Rob] Portman [Ohio], [Marco] Rubio [Fla.] and [Pat] Toomey [Pa.].”
“The party committee has this same job every cycle, to employ limited resources to maximum effect at the ballot box. … And that means not pouring precious resources into dysfunctional, noncooperative, losing campaigns,” a high-level Republican strategist told Politico.
Officials at the RNC have been making the case that the party is devoting its resources to help elect its nominee and that Trump is to blame for his slipping poll numbers.
During an off-the-record conversation last week, Spicer reportedly said the RNC has “all these staffers out there working and knocking on doors, with a data system they believe rivals what Obama built in 2012 — so it’s not their fault,” Politico reported according to someone in the room.
Politico did not attend that off-the-record meeting.
Spicer also said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has been talking to the GOP nominee regularly and trying to get him on message.
A report surfaced last week saying that Priebus warned Trump that if he didn’t change the direction of his presidential campaign, the party would instead aid down-ballot candidates.
Trump denied the interaction ever happened.
The report comes following several Republican lawmakers’s recent decision to not support their party’s nominee and after more than 70 Republicans signed a letter to the RNC chairman urging him to cut off spending to Trump.
Updated 6:20 p.m.