WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has denied allegations that his office offered the Obama administration upwards of five hundred thousand dollars to revoke Donald Trump’s U.S. citizenship, a move that if executed, would render the billionaire entrepreneur ineligible for the presidency.
“These allegations are baseless and quite frankly insulting,” Mr. Priebus told The Washington Examiner on Tuesday. The chairman added that the RNC has had “zero contact” with the White House since George W. Bush left office in 2009. “To even insinuate that we would engage those people demonstrates a complete and utter lack of understanding of the ethics and principles that guide the Republican party.”
The damning accusations were brought to light earlier this week by the aide of a former staffer affiliated with the RNC’s African-American outreach program who stepped down in late March. The aide, who spoke to The New York Times on condition of anonymity, said the top brass at the RNC “have gone into panic mode” over the possibility of Trump clinching the nomination. “They’re racking their brains trying to come up with a viable solution to stop him,” the aide said. “At one point there was talk of paying off [Trump’s] personal pilot to plant certain items in his luggage and fly him unannounced to North Korea.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, when questioned on the matter, contradicted the RNC chairman, saying President Obama was in fact in the process of “considering” a formal request he’d received from the GOP leadership to revoke Mr. Trump’s citizenship. However, Secretary Earnest said President Obama has issued a counter-offer to the RNC asking for an additional $500,000 to “expedite” the process. “At this time, the president is waiting to hear back from Mr. Priebus regarding his proposal,” Earnest said.
On Tuesday night, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump appeared with his family at a CNN-hosted town hall event in New York City where he accused the Republican Party of conspiring to deny him the presidential nomination. “They changed the rules a number of months ago,” Trump said, referring to the RNC leadership. “You know why they changed the rules? Because they saw how I was doing and they didn’t like it.”