Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump announced Thursday in a news conference that he signed a pledge stating he would not run for commander-in-chief as a third-party candidate.
The announcement followed the billionaire’s private meeting with Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus.
“The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever [the Democrats] happen to put up,” Trump told a packed audience of reporters and onlookers in the lobby of New York City’s Trump Tower. “And for that reason, I have signed the pledge.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2015
In signing the RNC’s loyalty pledge, Trump also vowed to support whoever ends up as the Republican presidential nominee should he not secure the nomination himself.
“So I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and for the conservative principles for which it stands,” the real estate mogul added.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) September 3, 2015
The news conference lasted about 20 minutes as Trump took multiple questions from reporters on everything from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) latest attacks on him to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s court victory over the National Football League.
Priebus was notably absent from the news conference, though. Trump said in response to a question from a reporter that he asked the RNC chairman to steer clear of the event so as not to give the impression that the party was endorsing Trump’s candidacy over those of the other GOP hopefuls.
Read Trump’s statement on signing the loyalty pledge below:
It is my great honor to pledge my total support and loyalty to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands. This is far and away the best way to secure victory against the Democrats in November 2016. I am leading in all local and national polls — my whole life has been about winning and this is what must be done in order to win the election and, most importantly, to Make America Great Again!
This post has been updated.