Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claims that a conservative activist group is badmouthing him after he declined to donate $US1 million. And he’s calling on the group’s president to resign.
In a press release on Thursday, the real-estate mogul Trump implied that the Club for Growth’s negative statements about Trump are directly related to the self-proclaimed billionaire’s refusal to donate $US1 million to the organisation. He called on David McIntosh, the group’s president, to “immediately” resign.
“I am appalled by Mr. McIntosh’s shameless pandering and blatant shakedown attempt, exposing him and the Club for Growth as a fraud,” Trump said in a statement.
Club for Growth spokesman Doug Sachtleben in response blasted what he called a “childish attack.”
“Donald Trump’s childish attack on the Club for Growth shows what a joke his candidacy is,” Sachtleben told Business Insider in an email.
“Trump asked for a meeting with the Club, and expressed interest in donating to our organisation, so of course we responded. But obviously he had something else in mind, most likely getting the Club to stop pointing out his liberal positions on national health care, massive tax increases, and trade protectionism, which we did when he started his silly political roadshow back in 2011. If Donald Trump wants to pretend to be a candidate for president, then he should get some thicker skin,” Sachtleben said.
As Trump tells it, McIntosh had an approximately 30-minute meeting with Trump in May at Trump Tower. Trump said McIntosh praised the real estate mogul’s “business success” and said that Washington needed someone like Trump.
Several days later, McIntosh sent a letter to Trump requesting a $US1 million donation. Trump declined to donate before officially announcing his candidacy on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, the Club sent around a press release mocking the real-estate mogul’s presidential aspirations. It referred to Trump as “not a serious Republican candidate” and said it would decline to do a white paper detailing his policy positions and prescriptions, which it has done for other candidates.
Given the history between Trump and the Club, it’s surprising that he would consider donating to the group. The Club openly mocked Trump during his brief flirtation with a run in 2011.
“This publicity stunt will sputter and disappear just as quickly as the ‘The Apprentice’ is losing viewers,” Chocola then-Club president Chris Chocola said in a 2011 statement, according to The Atlantic.
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