Top Republican donors sought to buy out Donald Trump from the presidential campaign after the "Access Hollywood" tape -- but the cost proved to be too high.
According to an Atlantic profile of Vice President Mike Pence, a small group of GOP billionaires asked a Trump associate how much money the former reality TV star would require to walk away from the campaign.
The associate told them Trump would need at least $800 million to end his campaign, according to a person with knowledge of the talks.
It's not clear whether Trump was ever aware of the discussion or if an offer was actually made, but GOP donors and party leaders schemed to put Pence at the top of the ticket just weeks before the election and draft Condoleezza Rice as his running mate.
Pence reportedly stopped returning Trump's phone calls in the wake of the so-called "p*ssy tape," and campaign staffers wondered whether the deeply religious vice presidential nominee would remain on the ticket.
Several Republicans told The Atlantic that Pence actually contemplated a coup at that time, and he made his feelings clear to the Republican National Committee -- which was then headed by Reince Priebus.
RNC lawyers explored the legality of removing Trump as the nominee, and GOP lawmakers and officials scrambled to cobble together a plan.
But ultimately, Trump weathered the political storm and regained the support of most of the Republicans who publicly disavowed him.