Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 2016
Conservatives disenchanted with Donald Trump have circulated a petition calling for the Republican National Committee to hold a special meeting to replace the New York businessman as the party's presidential nominee.
Organizers, some of the same Republicans who tried to prevent Trump from winning the nomination, have appealed to RNC officials across the US in recent days to take him off the ballot, the Associated Press reported.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures," Regina Thomson, executive director of the GOP Accountability Project, a political action committee, wrote in an e-mail to RNC members.
"Donald J. Trump is a disaster," Thomson wrote. "His post-convention behavior has been deplorable."
The petition comes as Trump has plummeted in the polls following a week marked by feud with Republican leaders and missteps on the campaign trail.
Trump spent much of the past week engaged in a back-and-forth argument with the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in Iraq.
The candidate was also forced to reverse course and endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senator John McCain of Arizona after initially refusing to do so.
Party rules allow RNC members to replace a presidential nominee in the event of "death, declination, or otherwise." To convene a meeting to discuss Trump’s ouster, organizers must submit signatures by least 16 RNC members from as many states.
Meanwhile, fifty of America’s most experienced Republican national security officials have signed a letter declaring that Trump lacks “the character, values and experience” to be president of the United States.
They said Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history” and warned that his presidency would “put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
Trump hit back at the security experts, casting them as being part of the same Washington establishment he is trying to uproot.
“And these were the people that have been there a long time; Washington establishment people that have been there for a long time. Look at the terrible job they’ve done,” he said in an interview with Fox Business on Tuesday morning.
Trump also suggested that the letter was written because, “I hadn’t planned on using any of these people.”