Report: GOP Exploring Options If Trump Drops Out

| by Nik Bonopartis
Republican Presidential Nominee Donald TrumpRepublican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump

What would happen if Donald Trump dropped out of the presidential race?

With a typical party nominee in a typical presidential election, that scenario would be almost unthinkable. But according to ABC News, Republican leaders are so alarmed by their nominee's behavior that they're laying the groundwork to replace him if he does bow out of the race.

For his part, Trump says he's not going to drop out of the race, and disputed reports that claim morale is low among his campaign staff.

"There is great unity in my campaign, perhaps greater than ever before," the New York businessman tweeted on Aug. 3.

Likewise, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort denied rumors of internal strife. Responding to reports of an "intervention" on the part of GOP officials and Trump campaign staff, Manafort told Fox News on Aug. 2 that  "the only need we have for an intervention is with some media types who keep saying things that aren't true."

The rumors -- attributed to anonymous sources -- started popping up at the beginning of August after a disastrous few days for the Trump campaign in which the candidate continued to feud with the Gold Star parents of a slain Army captain and told a crowd at a rally that he's "always wanted" a Purple Heart after an Iraq War veteran gave him a copy of his own medal.

The only way to replace Trump, who has already accepted his party's nomination and shows no signs of wanting to step down, would be with his cooperation, according to GOP bylaws cited by ABC News.

If that happens, the 168 members of the Republican National Committee would be tasked with choosing a successor. ABC News, citing an unnamed "Republican legal expert," said any replacement would have to be settled by September to get a new candidate's name on ballots in all 50 states.

Sources: ABC News, NBC News / Photo credit: Flickr

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