Former President Donald Trump briefly considered dropping out of the 2016 presidential race, according to the new book authored by his then-campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
Conway’s book, “Here’s the Deal,” is set for a Tuesday release – and according to The Daily Beast, Trump held a private meeting with her after the “Access Hollywood” tape leaked to the press.
According to Conway, on the evening of October 8, 2016 — just hours after the tape went public — she and Trump met on the 24th floor of Trump Tower to discuss how he should respond to the situation.
“Trump had seen reports that the GOP ‘could force him off the ticket or hold a vote to expel him’ amid the fury over his ‘disgusting’ comments, captured on video a decade earlier, Conway wrote,” according to The Daily Beast.
“Should I get out?” Trump reportedly asked Conway, despite telling The Wall Street Journal earlier in the day that there was “zero chance I’ll quit. I never, ever give up.”
Conway said that she wondered at the time whether he was really unsure of his next steps or whether he was simply testing her — but that she never really considered him quitting the race to be a viable option.
“You actually can’t unless you want to forfeit and throw the whole d*** thing to Hillary,” Conway says she told Trump.
“What do you mean, I can’t?” Trump asked, according to the book — and Conway says she pointed out the fact that early voting had already begun.
“I know you don’t like to lose, but I also know you don’t like to quit,” Conway pushed back.
“Will I lose? Will we lose? Can we still win?” Conway wrote that Trump still seemed unsure but that she said there was still a path to victory.
According to the book, in addition to reassuring Trump that victory was still possible despite the barrage of negative press that was still incoming, Conway was forthright with her boss about what she thought of the taped remarks.
Conway said that she told Trump to his face that his comments to then “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush were “disgusting” and “reprehensible.”
Despite what she said in private, Conway continued to defend Trump in public interviews, telling CNN’s Dana Bash that “sexual assault” was not the right phrase to use to describe Trump’s comments — which did not mention any specific woman or incident.
When Bash pushed back, Conway asked why no one wanted to interview the women who had accused former President Bill Clinton of rape.