Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is engaged in a war of words with the Republican National Committee. In a new line of attack against the party establishment, the business mogul has floated the idea of replacing RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
Trump remains the front-runner in the Republican race but has suffered a series of setbacks as his main rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, has chipped away at delegates in states where Trump won the popular vote.
“It’s a disgrace for the party,” Trump told The Hill. “And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself. He should be ashamed of himself because he knows what’s going on.”
Trump has become vocally flustered by the complicated state-by-state delegate rules. While the Cruz campaign has shown a keener understanding of the intricate rules of acquiring state delegates, Trump has accused the RNC of undermining the will of the voters.
“The delegate situation is a very unjust way of doing things,” Trump said.
Republican officials have fired back that Trump is complaining about a process that he has not been disciplined enough to understand.
“Each state and territory submitted a plan on how to allocate and select their delegates last year,” wrote RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer in an email. “Those plans were made available to every campaign. Understand the delegate selection and allocation is a basic part of the campaign.”
This pushback has not discouraged Trump from accusing the primary system of being corrupt. During an interview with The Washington Post, the billionaire did not rule out ousting Priebus if he were to win the party nomination, an act equivalent to political vengeance.
“I don’t know,” Trump said. “I haven't made the determination.”
The RNC chairman has dismissed the front-runner’s criticisms.
“Since I know what the truth is, I don’t really worry about it because I know what is right and I know what is wrong,” Priebus told CNN. “Everyone knows what the rules are. Everyone knows that the RNC can’t change the rules between now and the convention.”
Spicer also chimed in a response to Trump’s openness to getting rid of Priebus.
“Any candidate who got the nomination would beg Reince Priebus to stay as chairman because he’s been so successful,” Spicer said. The communications director added that Priebus had made the GOP machine “the gold standard of political parties.”