Donald Trump on Saturday accused former GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush of mounting a convention coup against him, after reports emerged that Republican delegates who don’t personally support Trump are looking for ways to avoid voting for him this summer.
“By the way, Jeb is working on the movement, just so you understand,” Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, said to supporters at a rally in Las Vegas.
“Jeb is one of the people that’s working — and the other one should be obvious,” he said, though he didn’t elaborate further.
Earlier at the rally, however, Trump echoed the Republican National Committee (RNC) and said the reports were a media hoax.
“It’s all made up by the press, folks. It’s a hoax,” Trump said. “This is a story — who are they going to pick? I beat everybody. I beat the hell out of them.”
Several reports this week indicated that at least 30 delegates hope to change party rules next month to take away delegates who are pledged to Trump but who may not personally support him.
“First of all, it’s illegal. Second of all, you can’t do it. Third of all, we, not me, we got 13, almost 14 million, votes since the primary system,” Trump said Saturday.
By party rules, the majority of delegates are bound to vote for Trump on the floor of the Republican National Convention, so any successful coup would require freeing those delegates from their commitments in direct violation of current party rules.
The RNC denied those efforts Friday night, calling it a “media creation.”
“All of the discussion about the RNC Rules Committee acting to undermine the presumptive nominee is silly,” RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer wrote in a statement.
“There is no organized effort, strategy or leader of this so-called movement. It is nothing more than a media creation and a series of tweets.”