Hours after the release of the explosive Access Hollywood tape on Oct. 7, 2016, then-vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence contemplated a ballot coup against then-candidate Donald Trump, reportedly making his feelings clear to the Republican National Committee that he was prepared to take Trump’s place as the party’s nominee, according to a new report in The Atlantic.
A small group of billionaire donors also weighed the possibility of paying Trump a “buyout” lump sum to drop out of the race. The donors reportedly went as far as asking a Trump associate how much money the candidate would require to walk away from the race.
The Atlantic reports:
According to someone with knowledge of the talks, they were given an answer of $800 million. (It’s unclear whether Trump was aware of this discussion or whether the offer was actually made.) Republican donors and party leaders began buzzing about making Pence the nominee and drafting Condoleezza Rice as his running mate.
Pence reportedly stopped returning Trump’s phone calls in the wake of the so-called “p*ssy tape.”
Campaign staffers questioned whether the deeply religious vice presidential nominee would remain on the ticket.
Ultimately, Trump apologized for his vulgar remarks and dismissed them as “locker room talk.”