These deep-pocketed donors, who have given millions to Republican candidates over the years, are threatening to withdraw support full stop if the party fails to disavow Trump’s behavior towards women and antagonism towards the party’s establishment.
Missouri business executive David Humphreys, who gave over $2.5 million to the GOP from 2012-2016 told the Times that he could no longer justify supporting Trump to his children.
California investor William Oberndorf, who gave over $3 million to Republicans over the same period, gave a sharper take, laying blame at the feet of RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
“The R.N.C. long ago should have cut ties with Donald Trump,” Oberndorf told the Times. “Reince should be fired and replaced with someone who has the competence and leadership skills to rebuild the R.N.C.”
Priebus has stood loyally behind Trump as his campaign has floundered in recent weeks, even as the Republican nominee has attacked party leadership for failing to support him. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), the primary target of Trump’s ire, has said he will focus his attention on down-ballot candidates, while other Republican lawmakers have withdrawn their endorsements.
According to the Times’ report, “many” donors have stopped giving in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations and a leaked video that showed Trump bragging about groping and forcible kissing women. Two major donors the newspaper spoke to said they were abandoning the party altogether to support the campaign of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Some members of the RNC committee, however, commended Priebus for standing by their candidate, saying they can accept Trump’s behavior more than the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency.