Politics

Trump's Campaign Just Confessed a Big Lie That Might Actually Hurt His Chances

Donald Trump's campaign is attempting to make amends with Republican party leadership — but their strategy may have just backfired. In a closed door briefing on Thursday, campaign aide Paul Manafort admitted to Republican leaders that Trump's inflammatory rhetoric was simply "a part that he’s been playing” to appeal to voters, the Washington Post reported.

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Manafort stressed that the Republican front-runner had recently stopped railing against the party and bemoaning its "rigged" delegate system, and would appear much more presidential in the coming months. “It fits into the whole narrative of the system is broken and certain types of establishment situations don’t meet the expectations of people,” Manafort said in an interview. The campaign is attempting a rebrand that will make Trump less abrasive and make amends with GOP leaders and voters that he might have pushed away.

Unfortunately, not everyone is buying the "new Trump."

Manafort's claims didn't hold up with all Republican leaders and some pointed out that Trump has touted his ability to change his controversial persona on a dime throughout the primary season. José Cunningham, chairman of the District of Columbia GOP told the Washington Post:

“Trump keeps saying that he’s going to be so presidential that he’ll put you to sleep. He loves to say that. His people say he’ll do that, have that demeanor. I’d still like to see that because, well, we haven’t.”

Earlier this year, Katie Packer, the chairwoman of the anti-Trump super PAC Our Principles PAC, distributed an anti-Trump "playbook" telling Republicans it was not too late to get a non-Trump nominee. 

“You are under no obligation to wrap your arms around a candidate who has not won a majority of GOP votes, or a majority of delegates, and perhaps wouldn’t even be the front runner had the original field been much smaller," Packer wrote.

Trump vs. the RNC.

Trump has a history of speaking out against the GOP which makes it difficult to see how he plans to shift his entire strategy and perspective. At an April 12 town hall event, he complained that the party's rules and delegate system were "stacked against" him, CNN reported. Trump asserted that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrongly benefited from the delegate process in Colorado and Louisiana primaries.

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Shortly before the Tuesday town hall, the Hill published an interview in which Trump railed against Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. "It's a disgrace for the party. And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself," Trump told the Hill.

Priebus shut down Trump's allegations that the system was "rigged" on "The Situation Room" and told host Wolf Blitzer, "Look, all the candidates have the rules of the game. There were no complaints about that system, at least not in Colorado."

Some Republican leaders were not so charmed by the Trump camp's new lease on politics and took the candidate's attacks on Priebus to heart, according to the Post.

“Stop the attacks on Reince and the RNC leadership,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Matt Moore said at Thursday's meeting. “Reince is the best chairman, I think, in the party’s history, and there is no question that he is the guy to lead us into the general election. Any discussion about a new chairman is completely stupid.”

[H/T the Washington Post]