Donald Trump called Thursday for the resignation of Club for Growth President David McIntosh, alleging the conservative advocacy organization is smearing him because he recently turned down a request for a $1 million donation.
"I am appalled by Mr. McIntosh's shameless pandering and blatant shakedown attempt, exposing him and the Club for Growth as a fraud," Trump said in a press release.
The spat between the prominent conserative organization and the Republican presidential candidate earlier this week, when the Club questioned the validity of Trump's nascent presidential bid. The organization has put out a "white paper" examining the policy positions of every major GOP candidate in the race thus far. But after Trump declared his bid Tuesday, the group declared in a statement, "There is no need to do a white paper on Donald Trump."
"He is not a serious Republican candidate, and many of his positions make him better suited to take on Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary," the group argued. "It would also be unfortunate if he takes away a spot at even one Republican debate."
On Wednesday, Trump noted the group wasn't so hard on him when they were asking him for money.
"They came up to see me very recently," Trump told Bloomberg TV. "And they sent us a letter, I think we have it, asking for a tremendous contribution. ... I was shocked by the amount of money we're talking about."
The billionaire businessman and reality television star produced a letter he says McIntosh sent to Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski (the man who's now managing Trump's campaign.)
In the letter, dated June 2, 2015, McIntosh wrote about a recent meeting in which Trump "expressed an interest in supporting the Club for Growth in its efforts to promote pro-growth, limited government policy."
"Enclosed is a letter for Mr. Trump and a request for a $1,000,000 contribution," McIntosh added.
Club for Growth spokesman Doug Sachtleben told Bloomberg that Trump "initiated a serious interest in donating to the Club for Growth, so we responded to him, just as we do with all potential donors."
"But that doesn't change the fact that the Club for Growth PAC thinks he's an unserious candidate and would make a terrible president," he added, "just as we publicly pointed out during his last political publicity stunt in 2011."