Could Desperate Republicans Buy Trump Out of the Presidential Race?

By
Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Dallas
Maybe the GOP could launch a Kickstarter.Photo: Ron Jenkins/2016 Getty Images

On Friday we learned that, in response to Donald Trump’s presidential anti-campaign, some GOP delegates are trying to muster a final #NeverTrump revolution before he’s officially nominated at the Republican National Convention next month. Now, Politico is teasing desperate Trump-anxious Republicans even further — particularly those still in the bargaining stage of grief. Apparently a former Trump advisor told Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger that they believed Trump would drop out of the presidential race if someone slipped him $150 million. Then, another former Trump advisor, Jim Dornan, agreed that such a payoff would “probably” work, and wondered if the Koch brothers would be up for the investment. But while the idea was a big hit on Twitter, especially with #NeverTrump superfan Bill Kristol, Trump isn’t buying into the buy-out idea, telling Politico (whose reporters are already banned from Trump events) that they are a bunch of lying liars for passing along things his former advisers said:

This story is a total fabrication from you and POLITICO, as usual. I will never leave the race, nobody has enough money to pay me to leave the race, and if they did, it would be totally illegal anyway. Did Obama and the Clintons get you to write this garbage?

Then again, when a reality television star’s presidential campaign seems more like a garbage fire, or media-empire grab, than an actual, functional presidential campaign, it does kind of make sense that all sorts of outlandish speculation would emerge about that candidate’s intentions. Plus, Politico got a law professor to suggest a legal loophole:

It’s against the law to bribe someone for a vote or certain favors, but if I say to Trump, ‘I’m starting a new hedge fund with $300 million committed to it. I’d really like you to join us. Your name will bring in billions. I’ll give you a 50 percent interest from the start, and you can cash out the value of your initial interest ($150 million) when you want,’ There’s no bribe there, and Trump could go away with the $150 million,” [Pace Law School’s Jim] Fishman wrote in an email.

Also, regarding the #NeverTrump delegate story, Trump is now calling it a hoax, though it’s a hoax that’s apparently worth engaging with if that provides an opportunity to brag:

Who are they going to pick? I beat everybody. I beat the hell out of them. And we’re going to beat Hillary. And it’d be helpful if the Republicans could help us a little bit. If they don’t want to help out as much, I’ll fund my own campaign. I’d love to do that.