Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Presidential candidate Donald Trump threatened to run as a political independent if he does not get “fair” treatment from the Republican Party, he said in an interview published on Thursday.

Trump said any third-party bid would depend on the Republican National Committee’s actions during the party’s primary selection process, according to the Hill.

“I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans,” Trump was quoted as saying. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”

The comments by the real estate mogul and TV personality followed rebukes by the party establishment over his criticism of Mexican immigrants and Senator John McCain’s war record and for personal attacks against fellow Republican White House contenders.

With Trump hovering near the top of the field of 16 candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination, an independent run would split Republican voters and could give leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton an edge in the November 2016 election.

Trump said the RNC was “always supportive” when he donated to the conservative party, the newspaper reported.

But now, “the RNC has not been supportive,” he said in the interview on Wednesday. “The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.”

The RNC had issued a statement saying remarks by Trump, who on Saturday disputed the heroism of McCain, who was held prisoner for five years during the Vietnam War, had “no place in our party or our country.”

After Trump earlier this month said most immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border were criminals, the committee’s chairman asked him to tone down his rhetoric, media reported.

Trump was scheduled later on Thursday to tour the border area in Texas, but the local border patrol agents’ union hosting the event said in a statement that it was pulling out. Representatives for Trump were not immediately available.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has been a butt of Trump’s jokes for his studious-looking glasses. Trump also revealed Republican candidate Lindsey Graham’s personal cellphone number on television after the South Carolina senator called him a “jackass” for his comments on McCain.

Perry hit back, on Wednesday, likening Trump’s candidacy to cancer, while Graham took to Twitter to joke about getting a new phone.

“He’s sort of a political car wreck,” Graham told MSNBC on Thursday.

Asked if he would change his tone as president, Trump told CNN late Wednesday: “I think so. I would deal very differently.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Von Ahn)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

  • TZToronto

    What a choice! Either accept Trump’s brash, insulting style and, maybe, have him run for President as a Republican, or deny him the nomination because he’s seen as a loose cannon–and have him sink the Republican ship as he runs as an independent. Trump running as an independent could be the best thing that’s happened to the U.S. in years!

  • candace.hardison
  • charleo1

    According to the Supreme Court, Trump doesn’t need to be the smartest person in the room. Just the one with enough money to buy the loudest bullhorn. And, boy does Trump ever show the lunacy of that proposition!

  • Dominick Vila

    The first thing that came to my mind when i read this article is the arrogance of Donald Trump, a man who considers anything and anyone who challenges his subliminal right to be the GOP nominee, and ultimately the next U.S. President, as evidence of unfairness.

    The only thing Trump has going for himself, besides ruthless business acumen, is his ability to appeal to the most radical members of our society by exploiting fear of change, taking advantage of prejudice, and attacking the establishment at a time when some among us are dissatisfied and frustrated with what most rational people consider progress. For the followers of Donald Trump, equality for ethnic minorities and women is an evil concept. The rise of a man of color to the Oval Office, after earning a law degree from one of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the USA, after demonstrating the strength of his character by spending time helping our most vulnerable citizens instead of getting a profitable job in Wall Street, and serving as a U.S. Senator is nothing more than evidence of Affirmative Action at work, and something that must be prevented from ever happening again. Donald Trump represents the worse of humanity, and the worst our society can offer. Incredibly, and precisely because of his ruthlessness and abrasiveness, he has managed to rise to the top of the ever growing field of GOP presidential candidates, is playing the media like a fiddle, and is controlling the agenda for both Republican and Democrats. Finding comfort in Trump destroying his Republican opponents, and what the Republican party once stood for, is misguided. He will do the same to whomever is the Democratic nominee, and to the Democratic party, as soon as he wins the Republican nomination. He is not a partisan politician, he is an anti-establishment zealot whose priorities start and end with what is best for Donald Trump.

    • groversyck

      Trump is not destroying the republican party. The likes of the “Crotch bros” and Addelson did that by financing the teabags.
      Trump is just showing all of their “dirty laundry” to the world. If the American people see the republicans for waht they are, they will sink into oblifvion.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    On NJ’s news this morning, Trump is handing out “free” Iphones. Guess what the price tag for that will be? Sign in blood that the phone equals a Trump vote…rofl.

    • jmprint

      The other republicans are bought and the Dump has to buy his voters, just like he does his wives.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Trump has one all too serious weakness like most rich boys…women. He has to be the dumbest guy in the deck if all he can get for wives are golddiggers. They divorce him at a rate of every 7 years. All Trump can get are women who are too dippy to realize he is buying control of them. Until they age out of the cutesy little girl stage and realize a lifetime of Trump bullying and mouthing is just too much for any woman to handle. Then, he just points and delegates and another new, young arm candy wife appears.

    • stcroixcarp

      Wasn’t Obama accused of giving out free Iphones by the teabaggers?

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Yes. But, just like the GOP is now demanding Hillary go to prison for those emails that are going to end up sending more GOP politicians to prison for doing the very same thing or perhaps even reopen the deals between Cheney and Bush and Halliburton and Iraq…the GOP stupids never learn that you cannot always escape what you do.

        Trump handing out free phones is bribery in the same way, GWB preaching from certain pulpits and then handing those same churches $2 billion in 2002 was bribery.

        • stcroixcarp

          If Hillary goes to jail for her e-mail account, then she should have a cell right next to Scott Walker. His secret emails are just as bad.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Hillary isn’t going anywhere. But the GOP Gestapos want so desperately to get rid of her, they would nail her to a cross if they thought they could get away with it.

            Hell hath no fury like a woman wrongly accused. If you think Hillary will just sit back and take this BS accusation of the attack dogs Cotton, Bolton, Gowdy and Issa, think again.

            What this new investigation will do is open THE worst can of worms beginning with how Bush ’41 as Reagan’s VP trekked to Iran to prevent the DAWA hostages release to make it look as if Reagan masterminded it and not Carter, when the CIA documents prove otherwise.

            If these attack dogs continue, they will only stir up the public’s already simmering anger over every secret classified email between Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice regarding the unprovoked war with Iraq.

            Hillary knows she has done nothing that every GOP assfreak has not already done 10 times more often. But, it might just be the step needed to open up ALL GOP emails between Boehner and that warmonger Netanhayu…I can’t wait.

            So far, the Justice Dept. is not interested in pursuing yet another GOP inspired round of BS.

  • FT66

    Let Trump drive GOP or rather RNC the way he wants. They have to swallow any bitter pill he decides to give them OR prepare themselves to die. KARMA always circulates arround.

  • groversyck

    From my perspective, an independent trump run would be great.
    We would be able to tell the teabag republicans they really suck by electing Hillary, placing Trump second, and the teabag nominee third.

    • jmprint

      Yes I think it would be good,. Hillary will get the majority of the hispanic, black, LGBT and women votes, and the republican’s religious vote would be split, and so would the tea party vote, making Hillary the winner. And the world will be back to normal.

    • stcroixcarp

      The only problem is that the low information voters might turn out in mass and vote for him as a joke and he could win. When Jesse Ventura ran for governor in Minnesota, he was funny and clever and people voted for him as a joke. After he was in power for a while it was like waking up with a bad hangover.

  • [email protected]

    We have reduced the selection of the most powerful person on earth to a reality television show. The American people are getting the political process that they deserve.

  • [email protected]

    Few comments but they are correct in their analysis. If I was not so old I would consider relocating to a more rational country. Maybe a Baltic country like Denmark.

  • greenriverkate