A furious Donald Trump told the head of the GOP after his election loss that he was going to start his own political party — but backed down when he learned what it would cost him, ABC News reported on the upcoming book by the network’s White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
“It was a very unpleasant conversation,” Karl wrote in “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” out next Tuesday, ABC News reported.
Trump was “in no mood for small talk or nostalgic goodbyes,” according to ABC News’ account of the book. “He got right to the point. He told her he was leaving the Republican Party and would be creating his own political party.”
Donald Trump Jr., who was reportedly also on the call, had been “relentlessly denigrating” the Republican National Committee for being “insufficiently loyal to Trump.”
Trump’s attitude was that since he had lost, he wanted everybody around him to suffer and lose as well in a kind of punishment, Karl wrote.
“This is what Republicans deserve for not sticking up for me,” Trump reportedly told McDaniel.
McDaniel warned him that such a move would “ruin your legacy” — but Trump apparently didn’t care.
He was concerned, however, about money, and the RNC played hardball over that, according to Karl.
Over the following few days, Karl wrote, “McDaniel and her leadership team made it clear that if Trump left,” the party would immediately stop paying the mounting legal bills of a long list of lawsuits challenging Trump’s losses in several states.
The RNC also “threatened to render Trump’s most valuable political asset worthless,” Karl said, referring to “the campaign’s list of the email addresses of 40 million Trump supporters.”
It’s a “list Trump had used to generate money by renting it to candidates at a steep cost,” according to the book. “The list generated so much money that party officials estimated that it was worth about $100 million.”
Five days after revealing he was prepared to take down his own party, Trump said he would remain a Republican after all, Karl said.