Big Donors Urge R.N.C. to Cut Ties With Donald Trump

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 10.26.55 AMMAGGIE HABERMAN

Friday, October 14, 2016

Good Friday morning.
Several of the Republican Party’s most generous donors called on Thursday for the Republican National Committee to disavow Donald J. Trump, saying that allegations by multiple women that Mr. Trump had groped or made inappropriate sexual advances toward them threatened to inflict lasting damage on the party’s image.
To an elite group of Republican contributors who have donated millions of dollars to the party’s candidates and committees in recent years, the cascade of revelations related to Mr. Trump’s sexual conduct is grounds for the committee to cut ties with the party’s beleaguered standard-bearer, finally and fully.
At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters, said David Humphreys, a Missouri business executive who contributed more than $2.5 million to Republicans from the 2012 campaign cycle through this spring.
Bruce Kovner, a New York investor and philanthropist who with his wife has given $2.7 million to Republicans over the same period, was just as blunt. He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president, Mr. Kovner wrote in an email, referring to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Kovner argued that the Republican National Committee should shift its attention to candidates who reflected its core values, like free markets and limited government. I hope the R.N.C. sticks to candidates who articulate these principles! he wrote.
Outrage among the party’s largest financiers over Mr. Trump’s behavior has also stirred questions about the leadership of Reince Priebus, the national committee’s chairman, who has remained loyal to Mr. Trump even as dozens of Republican elected officials have abandoned his candidacy. Mr. Priebus told members of the committee on Monday that the party was enthusiastically supporting Mr. Trump, reassuring some of them.
Even some of Mr. Priebus’s longtime associates in his native Wisconsin appear to have reached their breaking point.
Reince Priebus has to ask, how much of his soul does he want to sell for Donald Trump at this point? said Charlie Sykes, a conservative talk show host in Milwaukee, calling on Mr. Priebus to man up.
For all Mr. Priebus’s public expressions of loyalty, he has been deeply shaken by revelations about Mr. Trump and the rifts within the party, seeing years of Republican organizational work potentially being undone, according to multiple people who described private conversations with Mr. Priebus on the condition of anonymity. He has said he feels adrift, fearing that Mr. Trump is headed for disaster, and told one longtime associate that he was having sleepless nights. Mr. Priebus did not respond to requests for comment.
Donald J. Trump, at a rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday, said allegations that he had made unwanted advances on women were not true.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Donald Trump said an article in The New York Times about two women who charged that he had inappropriately touched them was a “total fabrication.”

Donald Trump at a rally in Lakeland, Fla., on Wednesday.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
By ASHLEY PARKER

Mr. Trump’s claims highlight concerns that he may not accept a Clinton victory, potentially undermining the legitimacy of the election and the democratic process.

Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally at the Colorado State Fair grounds in Pueblo on Wednesday. The candidate is keeping a relatively low profile, content for her rival to remain in the glare of the spotlight.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
By AMY CHOZICK

Encouraged by the polls, Mrs. Clinton is veering from standard end-of-campaign practice and keeping her schedule loose.

“This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to,” Michelle Obama said of lewd remarks by Donald J. Trump. “No woman deserves to be treated this way — none of us deserves this kind of abuse.”

Jim Cole/Associated Press
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

Her voice shaking, the first lady exhorted voters in visceral terms to reject Donald J. Trump’s candidacy and to back Hillary Clinton as a matter of conscience.

On the Trail

President Obama will appear in Cleveland on Mrs. Clinton’s behalf, though she herself is off the trail. Tim Kaine also has no public events on his schedule.
Mr. Trump will have two events in North Carolina, while Mike Pence has two events in Florida.
Donald J. Trump spoke to supporters at a rally in Ambridge, Pa., on Monday.

Trump Threatens to Sue The Times Over Article on Unwanted Advances

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

A lawyer for Mr. Trump denied the allegations of inappropriate touching made by two women in an article on Thursday in The New York Times.

Donald J. Trump at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Monday.

Writer for People Magazine Describes Forced Kiss

By CHRISTINE HAUSER

Natasha Stoynoff described the 2005 encounter with Donald J. Trump in an article on the magazine’s website. In a post on Twitter, Mr. Trump denied her story.

Ivanka Trump, the candidate’s daughter, campaigned in Ivyland, Pa., on Thursday.

Ivanka Trump Hits Trail, With No Sign of Campaign Turbulence

By TRIP GABRIEL

On a stage-managed swing through the Philadelphia suburbs, Ms. Trump avoided mentioning accusations that her father had groped women.

Hillary Rodham during Bill Clinton’s first term as Arkansas governor.

Getty Images
FEATURE
By ROBERT DRAPER

A 1980 defeat set in motion a process of endless revision, by herself and by her opponents, that has defined her career.

Boris Epshteyn

By BARRY MEIER AND SUSANNE CRAIG

A lawyer and executive at an investment firm, Boris Epshteyn has appeared more than 100 times on major networks on behalf of the presidential candidate.

Our Other Favorites

He Calls Hillary Clinton a ‘Demon.’ Who Is Alex Jones?

By LIAM STACK

Mr. Jones is a talk radio host and conspiracy theorist who is drawing greater attention, most recently from President Obama.

POLITICAL MEMO
Donald J. Trump with a sign while speaking at a campaign rally at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla.

After Furor Over Groping Allegations, Will More Women Believe Their Own Stories?

By SUSAN DOMINUS

This week’s wave of claims against the Republican nominee suggests the possibility of a shift in how women think about sexual assault.

What We’re Reading Elsewhere

The Washington Post writes that even as the Trump and Clinton campaigns increase their fighting, their transition teams are working side by side
Vox argues that Mr. Trump may be calibrating his increasingly caustic comments on the campaign so that, even if he loses, he can turn his experiences into a positive as he moves into new entertainment ventures.
The Los Angeles Times disagrees with an Upshot analysis of its tracking poll,writing: “No, one 19 year old Trump supporter probably isn’t distorting the polling averages all by himself.”