According to Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s former political adviser, the Republican National Committee is actively conspiring to take the brash candidate out of the race. Appearing Thursday on CNN, Stone said the RNC is doing everything possible to make sure Trump doesn’t win the nomination.

“You suggest the RNC has a secret war room now making plans to take out Donald Trump,” said CNN reporter John Berman. “Do you really believe that?”

Stone said, “I really do. They want a candidate in the form of Jeb Bush, who’s running behind Trump and much more behind Hillary Clinton or Chris Christie or John Kasich. Yes, that’s what they would prefer.”

The RNC bigwigs, claims Stone, have been caught utterly flatfooted by Trump’s shocking dominance. “They don’t know what to do about Trump because they said, ‘Oh, the immigration thing will kill him.’ First, they said he’ll never run, and then he ran. Then they said he’ll never file his financial disclosures. He filed and on time. Then they said he’s going to fall flat on his face. And he goes up in the polls.”

Responding to the allegations of a secret war room dedicated to Donald Trump, RNC spokeswoman Allison Moore told CNN, “It’s located at Area 51. Elvis runs it.”

Ah, but Allison, this is no wild conspiracy theory. Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to this race can see how desperate the GOP is to get past the Trump Problem. By responding in this weak, sarcastic manner, the RNC sounds quite a bit like…well, Hillary Clinton. Everything’s a joke until the proof is incontrovertible.

Unfortunately for RNC head honcho Reince Priebus, the window for taking out Trump may have passed. Like, a long time ago. The time to nip Trump’s campaign in the bud was not last month but last year. Perhaps Republicans would like the voters to forget how blatantly they betrayed them last November. All those promises. We’re gonna go in there and stop this president! We’ll use the power of the purse to stop amnesty! We’ll repeal Obamacare! Since then, we’ve watched these idiots cave time and again to the Obama agenda, dashing conservative hopes and making themselves look like ineffectual weaklings in the process. Okay, fine. We tried it your way. Now we’re going to try something new.

No one could have foreseen that “something new” would come in the form of Donald Trump. And even conservatives who love his brash, bold manner have plenty of reasons to question his commitment to the principles he espouses. His political history, such as it is, leaves much to be desired. It’s still unclear whether or not his indomitable campaign can widen beyond ~20%. Last year at this time, Americans were worried that we all might die in the Ebola Apocalypse. A lot can change in 12 months. By this time next year, Trump may be little more than a Republican footnote.

But if the RNC was smart – and there is no indication that this is true – they would use that secret war room to figure out exactly why Trump is smashing the competition. This isn’t exactly America’s sweetheart, here. He’s topping the polls in spite of his pop culture reputation, not because of it. Instead of fighting him tooth and nail, Republicans ought to realize how badly they’ve damaged their own party. Here’s a hint: badly enough that the host of Celebrity Apprentice is now the frontrunner. Good job, guys.

Keep plotting.