Donald Trump’s campaign and top GOP officials are about to have a “come to Jesus” meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Friday to discuss the Trump’s flailing campaign, people with knowledge of the planned sit-down told Politico.
Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications adviser, downplayed the meeting, telling TheWrap in a statement Thursday, “typical operations meeting for Florida. No big deal. Failing blog Politico gets it wrong again. No wonder everyone has left there.”
But a person familiar with the powwow described it as an “emergency meeting,” adding that Trump is not slated to take part as he’s scheduled to travel to Pennsylvania on Friday. Karen Giorno, a Trump senior advisor will attend instead.
The gathering comes as tensions between the campaign and the Republican National Committee seem to have reached a boiling point. Trump has threatened to stop fundraising for the Republican Party after TIME reported that party brass is looking to ditch the GOP nominee, focusing on down-ballot candidates instead.
“I mean, if it is true, that’s OK too because all I have to do is stop funding the Republican Party,” Trump told Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“I’m the one raising the money for them,” he continued. “If they want to do that they can save me a lot of time and a lot of energy.”
Trump acknowledged that he spoke with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus about the TIME article.
“Yes, I have,” Trump said. “He just put out a press release. He just put out a tweet saying it’s untrue,”
But Sean Spicer, RNC chief strategist, dismissed reports that Priebus threatened to reallocate resources, saying on Twitter Thursday the story is “not true.”
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) August 11, 2016
According to the TIME article, Priebus warned Trump last week that “his campaign seemed to be headed toward failure and that changes were needed to get back on track,” adding that Priebus urged Trump for months to professionalize his operations and campaign — or else.
But the magazine later corrected its report saying it “mischaracterized” the phone conversation between Priebus, noting that he had only expressed concerns with the direction of Trump’s campaign.
“The Republican National Committee has acknowledged the possibility of redirecting its resources, but a spokesperson says Priebus did not explicitly convey that possibility to Trump in that phone conversation,” the TIME update said.
Trump has been struggling to bounce back from a string of controversies that have engulfed his campaign in recent weeks as Hillary Clinton enjoys a double-digit lead in many national polls and key swing states.
On Thursday, more than 70 top GOP officials signed an open letter urging the RNC to stop funding Trump’s bid for the White House.
“We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck,” the letter, which was first published by Politico, read.