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OTR Interviews

RNC Chair Priebus responds to Trump allegations about primary process: 'There is nothing mysterious here'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 11, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The Colorado Republican Party taking a beating from both Donald Trump and his supporters over its delegate process.

Just a short time ago, RNC chairperson Reince Priebus went ON THE RECORD.

Mr. Chairman, nice to see you, sir.

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Hey, thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: So that I understand it, the rules in Colorado, those are created by the Colorado Republican Party. It's not by the RNC.

Is that correct?

PRIEBUS: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, now, there is a big firestorm over what's going on in Colorado and the way they chose.

Donald Trump says that it's corrupt and rigged. And you say, what?

PRIEBUS: Well, it's the same process they used, Greta, four years ago. I mean, it's no different. Some states use a primary system to bind delegates. Some states use a caucus system to bind delegates. And some states use a convention system to bind delegates.

So, I have a book in front of me that every candidate has state by state, with the dates and what's happening. And according to that process, a delegate has a contest in the precincts. Back a month ago.

Then the delegates that win that go and have a contest in the counties. Then the delegates that win that have a contest at the congressional district. And then the delegates that win that go to a state convention.

And so this isn't something that just happens over one day. This is an organizational process that candidates have to be involved with from the very beginning.

And so it's no different than Wyoming over the weekend picked Bernie Sanders at a convention. So it's the same thing that happened four years ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: Except isn't there a little bit of difference, though, because last August on the 25th, they made the announcement. They weren't going to have the presidential preference straw poll?

Isn't that -- doesn't that make it a little bit different that that didn't happen?

PRIEBUS: No, not at all. Because that's just a beauty contest. I mean, the straw poll is like the Ames Straw Poll. Like, you know, people spend money to have a straw poll that isn't a primary. It's not a caucus.

So the rules are that each state has to submit their plan for releasing delegates by October 1st of 2015. That happened. And then the RNC released those plans to the whole world and all of the campaigns put it out on a website.

We've got, obviously -- there is another website called ConventionFacts.GOP and all of these are there. It's date by date, contest by contest. There is nothing mysterious about this.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So since October 1, 2015, the rules haven't changed and everybody has had notice, essentially.

Is that correct?

PRIEBUS: Well, absolutely. I mean, it's a rule that each of the states have to do. That's why you said in August, Colorado came in and said we're not going to do it. We're not going to have this beauty contest straw poll. We're just going to do the convention and that's what they did.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. The rules committee, which is going to be very important going into this Cleveland convention.

Who names the rules committee?

PRIEBUS: So, each -- once the delegate pool is determined in a state, then that delegate poll has an election. And they're going to elect a delegate chairman. They're going to elect two members of one man, one woman to the rules committee. One man, one woman to the platform, permit and organization and credentials. And so they have elections for that.

VAN SUSTEREN: So do you have any role at all on who is -- is any part of these rules committee? Do you or the RNC have any role in that? In deciding who?

PRIEBUS: The only role -- I get to appoint the chairman of the rules committee. I get to appoint the chairman of all the committees, but I don't have a vote on the committee. And the committees are made up of the delegates that actually win the slots.

And by the way, another important point on the rules committee, if the rules committee makes suggestions on rules, but the entire floor of delegates by majority rule either support the rules committee's report or they don't.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it sounds to me like whoever gets appointed, the chairman of the rules committee is probably your worse enemy because that's a tough job. Whoever has that job --

PRIEBUS: You are right.

VAN SUSTEREN: I will be looking to see who you hate.

Anyway, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.

PRIEBUS: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you very much for joining us.