Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Thursday in New York City, NBC News has confirmed. The meeting comes amid reports that the RNC has asked the GOP candidates to “pledge” not to run as a third-party candidate if unsuccessful at clinching the nomination.
Trump’s campaign did not comment on whether the RNC’s pledge is on the meeting’s agenda. After the Priebus meeting, Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. ET at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
“I [name] affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for president of the United States I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is,” the RNC’s pledge says, a GOP source confirmed to NBC News. “I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.” Politico first reported on the text of the pledge.
Priebus said on NBC’s “TODAY” in June that he believed candidates should pledge to rule out a third-party campaign, but he added, “I don’t see that happening.”
“If our candidates want to win, then they’ll have to run as a Republican,” Priebus said.
During last month’s GOP debate, Trump was the only White House hopeful to signal he could not promise to support the eventual Republican nominee. “I cannot say,” Trump said. “I have to respect the person … if it’s not me,” he said.
Trump has dominated the polls, despite a series of high-profile spats in recent weeks, including a feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who grilled the billionaire real-estate mogul during the first Republican presidential debate. Recently, Trump has been trading barbs with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Trump on Wednesday called Bush “low-energy” and criticized him for doing “very poorly in the polls.” Bush has hit back at Trump, too, painting the billionaire real estate mogul as a sort of faux conservative.