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Trump reportedly wanted out of the GOP, until he was threatened with this

The RNC said it would stop paying Trump’s legal bills and stop him from renting out his mailing list if he left, according to a forthcoming book

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Donald and Melania Trump attend Game 4 of the 2021 World Series in Atlanta.

Former President Donald Trump and his wife Melania stand for the national anthem before Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta.

Brynn Anderson, Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump was planning on quitting the Republican Party earlier this year to start his own party, until the RNC threatened retaliation that would have cost him millions of dollars, according to the forthcoming book “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show” by ABC News Chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl.

“I’m done,” Trump reportedly told RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a phone call on Jan. 20, his last day in office. “I’m starting my own party.”

“You cannot do that,” McDaniel said. “If you do, we will lose forever.”

“Exactly,” Trump said. “You lose forever without me.”

Karl said Monday on “Good Morning America” that Trump “didn’t care if the move destroyed the party that brought him to the White House.”

The RNC responded by threatening to immediately stop paying legal bills Trump racked up while challenging election results, as well as giving his 40 million-strong email mailing list away to Republican candidates for free. Trump made money renting out the list to Republicans, and the list was estimated to be worth about $100 million. Trump changed his mind five days later, according to the book.

A source who witnessed the conversation between Trump and McDaniel said Trump spoke as if destroying the party was punishment for Republican leaders he didn’t believe fought hard enough to overturn the 2020 election, and Republican members of Congress who voted to impeach and convict him for incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to excerpts of the book obtained by ABC News.

Trump called the story “totally made up and fabricated” in a statement from his spokeswoman Liz Harrington. McDaniel also denied the story.

“This is false, I have never threatened President Trump with anything,” McDaniel told ABC News. “He and I have a great relationship. We have worked tirelessly together to elect Republicans up and down the ballot, and will continue to do so.”

The day before Trump left office, The Wall Street Journal reported he told several aides and others associates that he wanted to start a new party called the “Patriot Party,” but he backed away from it days later. On Jan. 25, the Trump campaign filed a notice with the Federal Election Commission saying “Patriot Party” groups that had popped up were not authorized by Trump or his campaign.

Some of the top Republicans who criticized Trump after the Capitol attack have since backed away from their criticism, including former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and two of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him have so far announced they will not seek reelection next year.

Support for Trump has also grown within the GOP. An October Pew poll found 67% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe Trump should remain a major national political figure, up from 57% in January.