Lawyers for the Republican National Committee have spent the weekend looking to reevaluate its strategy, while lawyers are examining avenues to replace Donald Trump with another nominee, following the leak of a tape containing crude statements made by the GOP nominee about women.
RNC chair Reince Priebus on Friday night—following the leak of the tape—told a state party chair that the committee would take 48 hours to reevaluate its election strategy, reported Politco.
Lawyers are now examining the possibility of naming another nominee about a month away from election day. The problem is that ballots have already been printed around the country and early voting has already been conducted in some states.
“RNC has an army of lawyers right now looking at Rule 9 and ballot questions,” said one source close to the matter, according to the political news website. Rule 9 of the RNC’s rulebook details the filing of vacant nominations.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) October 9, 2016
Trump, however, would have to cooperate with any attempt to replace him on the ballot. “The fact remains that he can only be replaced if he quits or dies. And he’s declared today he’s not planning on doing either,” another Republican source said, as Politico reported.
Republican officials have also told local operators to remain calm to see if Trump can endure the latest wave of controversy. Trump and his opponent, Hillary Clinton, will hold their next debate on Sunday, Oct. 9.
“I asked if we should change course in any way regarding resources, strategy and the answer was, ‘No’,” Steve House, the Colorado GOP chairman, told Politico. “So we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and see what happens in the next 24 hours, especially with the debate.”
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported late Saturday that the RNC will redirect funds intended to bolster Trump’s campaign to prioritize down-ballot candidates.
But Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist, went on Twitter to say the Journal’s report is “not true,” calling the reporting “false.”
The Journal said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said the funds will be redirected to House and Senate races for the November election.
The reports come after several high-ranking Republicans attempted to distance themselves from Trump in the wake of the tape leak. At least two dozen Republicans have called on him to step down.
But Trump said that he’ll “never” step down, issuing several tweets on Saturday.
The tape features audio of Trump making lewd comments about a married woman, saying that he “moved on her,” and that he “failed.”
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he said, The Washington Post reported.