Update: Wall Street Journal confirms that the RNC is pulling Trump’s funding. They will redirect the money to downticket races.
Update: According to POLITICO, the RNC has halted all Victory operations.
“Please put a hold/stop on all mail projects right now. If something is in production or print it needs to stop. Will update you when to proceed,” an RNC operative said in a letter to a vendor.
RNC staffers are also defiant, and reportedly refusing to work for the Republican nominee.
Source tells me "disgusted" RNC staffers are openly "defying orders" to keep working for Trump https://t.co/ZCZa1Jrnzf
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 8, 2016
The RNC has also pulled Trump’s from Get Out the Vote phone bank scripts.
RNC Official: @realDonaldTrump has been taken off the Phone Call scripts for recruitment and Absentee Ballot requests
— Mary Ann Ahern (@MaryAnnAhernNBC) October 8, 2016
Donald Trump is calling reporters Saturday morning — assuring the media he will not drop out of the Presidential race — despite the embarrassing audio recording that surfaced Friday in which Trump is heard making lewd, bragging comments about inappropriate behavior with women.
Trump doing damage control, calling reporters to tell them he won't drop out. WSJ & WaPo so far.
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) October 8, 2016
But while Trump remains confident in his place on the Republican presidential ticket, high-profile conservatives and prominent Republicans spent Friday evening and Saturday morning distancing themselves from the embattled candidate – and even calling on Trump to drop off the Republican ticket.
Sen. Mitch McConnell called the comments disgusting, remarking that “[a]s the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”
Sen. John McCain, Rep. Paul Ryan, and Sen. Marco Rubio also denounced the comments but stopped short of making proclamations on Trump’s fitness for the race.
Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Utah governor Gary Hebert withdrew their support early Saturday, with Lee making an impassioned speech for Donald Trump to step aside on his Facebook page. Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock also called on the Republican nominee to end his campaign.
Former Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina issued a statement Saturday asking Trump to drop off the ticket and clear the way for Mike Pence to take the top slot.
— Sarah Isgur Flores (@whignewtons) October 8, 2016
Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence, however, was reportedly “beside himself” at Trump’s comments, and despite committing to fill the Presidential nominee’s place at a Wisconsin rally today, will instead spend the day at home.
NEW: @NBCNews has learned Mike Pence is not going to the Wisconsin GOP event today.
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) October 8, 2016
But despite the pleas, it may be too late for the Republican Party to do much at all, unless the nominee himself drops out. As the Washington Post points out, around 35,000 Republican ballots have already been cast, absentee ballots have been printed and mailed, and early voting has already begun in several states.
Republican Party rules empower the GOP to replace their candidate, but only for “death, declination, or otherwise.”Though the Party may be deeply considering exactly what that sentence means in a meeting today.
Source tells me RNC officials are meeting in DC to discuss what options the party has going forward in case Trump isn't nominee.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 8, 2016
Trump says that, aside from some prominent defections, he has “tremendous support.”