Billionaires Reportedly Wanted to Pay Trump to Drop Out of the 2016 Race
A “small group of billionaires” wanted to pay President Donald Trump to drop out of the 2016 election after the release of the Access Hollywood tape.
That’s one bombshell report from The Atlantic‘s new story on Vice President Mike Pence. In the article, author McKay Coppins writes about a number of Republican-led efforts to change the presidential ticket after the October 7 release of the recording of Trump bragging to tv host Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee were reportedly exploring legal means of removing him from the ticket, while influential members of the GOP reportedly encouraged the RNC to replace Trump “by whatever means necessary.”
Meanwhile, a group of billionaires (whom the article does not name) went as far as to ask a Trump associate to name the price for Trump’s dropping out, according to The Atlantic. They reportedly heard back, with the sum pegged at $800 million. The Atlantic reports that it’s unclear whether Trump had knowledge of the conversation and if the group ever made an offer.
The White House did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment on the report of the payout.
As an alternative to Trump/Pence, Republican leaders and donors were reportedly considering adding Condoleezza Rice to a Pence-topped ticket. And Pence “made it clear” to the party that he was ready to take over as the nominee.
But back to the $800 million figure. How does it stack up against Trump’s self-proclaimed riches?
In July 2015, Trump’s campaign claimed he had a net worth “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS,” but in May 2016, Fortune estimated his net worth at somewhere between $3 billion and $3.9 billion. We don’t have much information about Trump’s annual income, but two pages of his 2005 tax return indicate an income of more than $400 million from his golf courses, resorts, and rentals and sales of his other properties. Interestingly enough, the billionaires’ payoff would’ve been twice that total and eclipses the $600 million Forbes shaved from Trump’s estimated net worth this year.