Republicans, in revolt, urge party to de-fund Trump: Report

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Silver Spurs Arena inside the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on Aug 11, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Silver Spurs Arena inside the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on Aug 11, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More than 70 influential Republicans have signed a letter urging the party to stop spending money on Mr Donald Trump's presidential campaign and direct it instead to November's congressional races, a news report said on Friday (Aug 12).

"We believe that Donald Trump's divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide," read a draft text of the letter to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, which was obtained by the Politico newspaper.

It called for an "immediate shift" of party funding Senate and House races, to aid down-ballot Republicans whose own election prospects have been harmed by Mr Trump's unpopularity.

"This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump's chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day," the letter said.

The letter cited various actions by Mr Trump that the signers said have "alienated millions of voters of all parties".

"Those recent outrages have built on his campaign of anger and exclusion, during which he has mocked and offended millions of voters, including the disabled, women, Muslims, immigrants, and minorities," the letter said, according to Politico.

"He also has shown dangerous authoritarian tendencies, including threats to ban an entire religion from entering the country, order the military to break the law by torturing prisoners, kill the families of suspected terrorists, track law-abiding Muslim citizens in databases, and use executive orders to implement other illegal and unconstitutional measures."

So far, the letter has been signed by a number of key former party staff members and officials. Politico reported that it began circulating this week and is expected to be sent to Mr Priebus next week.