Trump described 2012 as "the most boring convention I've ever seen," and vowed to liven things up for 2016, according to an interview with The Washington Post
published on Sunday evening.
"It's very important to put some showbiz into a convention, otherwise people are going to fall asleep," the former reality TV star said. "We don't have the people who know how to put showbiz into a convention."
Trump has previously raised the specter of violence
at the convention in Cleveland, warning of potential "riots" if he is denied the nomination and saying the Republican National Committee will have a "rough time at that convention in July" if the GOP nominee does not reflect the will of the voters. He has, however, also said he hopes for a peaceful gathering.
Trump told The Washington Post he expects some level of input on the convention proceedings, whether or not he secures the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination before things get underway. And he dismissed the security concerns prompted by his past remarks.
"It should be a monumentally magnificent convention, and it should be brilliant staged, but they're spending $50 million on security," he said in the interview.
Trump also said in the interview that he wants to award the high-profile convention speaking slots to business leaders and non-politicians.
"Nikki Haley would not be my first choice" for keynote speaker," he told the Post.
And following a week during which he repeatedly called the GOP nominating process "rigged" and blasted RNC officials, Trump demurred when asked whether he would retain current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and other officials.
"I don't know. I haven't made the determination," Trump said.
But while Trump sounds ready to take the reins of the Republican Party, some primary rivals aren't ready to concede.
John Weaver, a top adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, responded to Trump's comments to The Washington Post by noting the business mogul is not yet the nominee.
"He's not the nominee. He can decide anything if he gets to 1,237. But until then, no. If you're ahead in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, you don't get to decide who gets the Lombardi Trophy," he said.
RNC communications director Sean Spicer responded to Trump's comments Monday, predicting this summer's convention will be high-profile and watched internationally.
"The difference this year is that if you look at the debates and the turnout we've seen, the eyes of the world, not just the country are going to be on us in Cleveland, because of the excitement and amusement on the Republican side, not the Democratic side. So I get his point," he told CNN's John Berman and Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour with Berman and Bolduan."