Although Donald Trump has signed a pledge to support the Republican Party’s nominee, that doesn’t mean the party’s establishment will support him, should he win the GOP presidential nod.
A report by the Hill suggests the big money Republican donors are actually looking to support Hillary Clinton for commander in chief if Trump is at the top of the GOP ticket. Yes, the Democrat Hillary Clinton could be getting millions of dollars from Republicans.
The website says: “In conversations over the past month, GOP establishment donors have confided to the Hill that for the first time in recent memory, they find themselves contemplating not supporting a Republican nominee for president.”
When asked for whom he would cast his vote if the choices are only Mrs. Clinton and Trump, the former mayor of Los Angeles and a longtime Republican establishment figure, Dick Riordan, said: “I would probably go find a deserted island.”
“I think Hillary is disgusting,” Riordan told the Hill. “And I think Trump is crazy.”
The paper says Trump was the topic at a recent Beverly Hills lunch hosted by former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Rockwell Schnabel.
In attendance in a private dining room of the Hotel Bel-Air were powerful donors said to include Ronald Spogli, the venture capitalist and former ambassador to Italy under President George W. Bush; his business partner Bradford Freeman; and Riordan.
The donors reportedly faced the hypothetical question: “If it was Donald Trump running against Hillary Clinton, who would you vote for?”
The Hill reports:
One version has it that most of the Republicans at the table put their hands up for Clinton.
Schnabel disputes that account and said in a telephone interview Tuesday that it was just banter among friends and that he is confident that all the Republicans at the table would support the final GOP nominee for president, whomever that turns out to be.
Schnabel called back later on Tuesday afternoon to clarify what he meant. “My only caveat would be that … I assume that the Republican we’ll nominate will be somebody that would make a great president,” he said. “That’s not a conversation we’ve had to have in the past, but obviously there are some we would be concerned about.”
The hesitation among establishment GOP donors comes as no surprise to Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager.
“The GOP establishment will do anything they can to stop Mr. Trump from being the GOP nominee,” Lewandowski told the Hill.
“Mr. Trump is the only one who is not controlled by the special interests. … They want a puppet that they can control, and Donald Trump will never be that person.”
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Not all big GOP donors, though, are sour on the New York businessman.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn and Doug Manchester, a California developer and chairman of Manchester Financial Group, are among those in Trump’s corner.
“I met with Donald himself and was again very impressed with a Man [sic] who does not have to be doing what he is but believes as I do that we need to Make America great again and believe he can do it!!” Manchester wrote to friends in an email seen by the Hill.
“As all of you know I was all in for Mitt but unfortunately he did not make it!!”
“I think Trump can win,” Manchester added.