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Story highlights

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus dismissed Donald Trump's assertion the system is rigged

Priebus called Trump's comments "rhetoric" and "hyperbole"

(CNN) —  

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pushed back Sunday against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s assertion that the nominating process is “rigged” to block him.

Priebus dismissed Trump’s comments as “rhetoric” and “hyperbole.”

“Since I know what the truth is, I don’t really worry about it because I know what is right and I know what is wrong,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

Trump has watched rival Ted Cruz claim delegates in individual states where Trump has won, and stack delegate slates with Republicans who would be obligated to support Trump on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland but could switch to Cruz on the second ballot.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “Lyin’ Ted Cruz will never be able to beat Hillary. Despite a rigged delegate system, I am hundreds of delegates ahead of him.”

“Lyin’ Ted Cruz can’t get votes (I am millions ahead of him) so he has to get his delegates from the Republican bosses. It won’t work!,” he said.

Priebus said it’s up to candidates and their campaigns to understand the delegate rules. He said those decisions are up to each state, and there’s nothing the Republican National Committee can do to change them now.

“If you think (Trump’s assertion the system is rigged is) rhetoric, if you think it’s hyperbole, you know, look – there’s nothing that the RNC can do to alter the rules between now and the convention. It’s not the RNC’s place. So I don’t sit here and internalize the charge, because there’s no there there. There’s nothing the RNC can do about it,” Priebus said.

“Everyone knows what the rules are,” he said. “Everyone knows that the RNC can’t change the rules between now and the convention.”

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows more than 60% of Republican voters think if no candidate reaches the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, the one with the most votes should win it. About 33% said in that scenario convention delegates should pick the nominee.