GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has promised “several top Republicans” he will not run a third-party campaign, The Huffington Post reports.
The website said it spoke to “several sources,” who confirmed the news.
Top Trump aide Michael Cohen, however, would not confirm that his boss has completely ruled out an independent run if he doesn’t win the Republican nomination. Cohen did tell HuffPost, though, that Trump never had “any intent” of running under any other banner than the GOP.
“He just wanted to ensure that the establishment would treat him as fair as they would treat any of the other candidates,” Cohen told HuffPost. “And I believe right now they are treating him fairly. It is my personal belief that the RNC is treating Mr. Trump the same as the other candidates and he will live up to his agreement not to run as an independent.”
Trump himself, even while threatening a third-party run, essentially said the threat was intended to ensure the party would treat him as an equal to the other candidates — something he felt wasn’t happening early in his campaign.
Now, Trump appears to acknowledge that the threat actually could hurt his chances with loyal Republican voters, HuffPost noted.
Trump said he was open to the pledge a few days after the first GOP debate on Aug. 6, where he was the only candidate among the top 10 to raise his hand and say he wouldn’t promise to support the eventual party nominee and run as an independent.
Radio host Hugh Hewitt recently advised Trump against a third-party effort, because it would ensure a win for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump agreed it was a good argument.
But HuffPost noted that one of its Republican sources cautioned that any decision by Trump is subject to change “since he is known for his political impulsiveness. A stray insult from a fellow Republican could, theoretically, change his calculus.”
“[Fox News Chief Roger] Ailes thought he had a deal too. Then Trump called Megyn Kelly a bimbo, again,” one Republican operative said.
“Only Mr. Trump can sign that oath,” Cohen said when asked if Trump would make his announcement public. “And when he does, you can rest assured he will live by it.”