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Reince Priebus: Trump Won’t Run as Third-Party Candidate

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Is that a challenge we hear? During an appearance on NBC’s Today show Monday morning, RNC chairman Reince Priebus said that he not only doesn’t “fear” an independent run by Donald Trump but predicted that it’s not going to happen.

“Do you fear an independent run from Donald Trump?” host Savannah Guthrie asked Priebus, noting that “most political analysts” predict that by running as a third-party candidate Trump would “all but assure” a Hillary Clinton presidency. “Do you have to tiptoe around him to make sure that doesn’t happen?” she asked.

“I don’t think so,” Priebus replied, saying he wants Republican candidates to “pledge not to run” as third-party candidates. “I don’t see that happening,” he said in Trump’s case, adding that only a Republican is capable of beating Clinton. “If our candidates want to win, then they will have to run as a Republican.”

RELATED: RNC Chair Reince Priebus Called Trump, Reportedly Asked Him to ‘Soften His Tone’

“But I don’t fear that,” Priebus added, noting that Trump has “walked back” talk of a third-party run in recent days. Last week, Trump indicated that if the RNC continues to treat him unfairly, he would consider a third-party run. But then, less than 24 hours later, he declared, “I only want to run as a Republican” and “my total focus is to run as a Republican and to win.”

But Trump certainly left the door to change his mind. And now that Priebus has essentially dared him to do it, the independent candidacy is probably looking even more attractive to him.

Watch video below, via NBC:

[Photo via screengrab]

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