GOP Frustrations With Donald Trump Mount as Allies Weigh Options | NECN
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

GOP Frustrations With Donald Trump Mount as Allies Weigh Options

Trump's operation has been beset by internal discord, including growing concern about general election preparedness and a lack of support from Republican leaders



    Donald Trump's campaign chief acknowledged Thursday the GOP presidential nominee's team is divided over whether to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan, but promised Trump would work with the Republican speaker if elected.

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    "There's a conflict within the Trump campaign," campaign chairman Paul Manafort told ABC's "Good Morning America." ''We've sort of had a rule of not getting involved in primaries because it's usually not a good situation for the presidential candidate. Of course, he's going to work with Paul Ryan." Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence split with Trump and endorsed Ryan on Wednesday.

    Ryan on Thursday reaffirmed his support for Trump in his first comments since the Republican nominee declined to endorse him. Ryan brushed off Trump's stance, telling a radio interviewer in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that the only endorsement he cares about is from voters in his congressional district. 

    But he also said that Trump "has had a pretty strange run since the convention. You would think we should be focusing on Hillary Clinton and all of her deficiencies."

    Ryan said it's "distressing" that that's not what the conversation is about.

    Trump's operation has been beset by internal discord in recent days, including growing concern about general election preparedness and a lack of support from Republican leaders, according to two people familiar with the organization's inner workings.

    One of the people said Trump privately blames his own staff for failing to quiet the backlash from his own party after he criticized an American Muslim family whose son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq.r

    Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting

    [NATL] Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting
    Presidential elections are decided on a “razor’s edge,” Michelle Obama told a crowd at a campaign event in North Carolina where she spoke after Hillary Clinton on Oct. 27. The first lady got a loud round of applause when she pointed out what previous generations sacrificed for the right to vote, and encouraged everyone to exercise that right.

    “Casting our vote is the ultimate way we go high when they go low,” Obama said, “Voting is our high.” (Published 58 minutes ago)

    The tensions come as Priebus and a handful of high-profile Trump allies consider whether to confront the candidate directly to encourage a new approach following a series of startling stances and statements. In the midst of the uproar over his criticism of the Khan family, Trump infuriated GOP Chairman Reince Priebus and other party leaders by refusing to endorse Ryan's re-election ahead of a primary contest Tuesday.

    The officials, including one with direct knowledge of Priebus' thinking, were granted anonymity to discuss internal strategy because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive issue during one of the most tumultuous weeks of Trump's presidential campaign.

    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday dismissed reports that he was planning an "intervention" with Priebus and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to urge Trump to abandon divisive tactics that have triggered sinking poll numbers and low morale.

    "I meet with Donald Trump all the time," Giuliani told the Fox Business Network, suggesting that Gingrich used the word, "intervention," in a recent memo.

    Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Ceremony

    [NATL]Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Opening Ceremony
    As Hillary Clinton traverses battleground states across the country in the final stretch of the presidential election, Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail for the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday of his Washington, D.C. hotel — but his remarks made clear the race to the White House was not far from mind. Trump claims the hotel is a symbol of what he'll do for America, noting it was completed "under budget and on schedule". (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    "He is a new candidate," Giuliani said of Trump. "That adds a little bit of — more of a learning curve, that would normally be the case."

    Trump on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that the GOP frustration was hurting his campaign, even as he openly contemplated an Election Day loss.

    "Wouldn't that be embarrassing to lose to crooked Hillary Clinton? That would be terrible," he said during a campaign stop in battleground Florida. He also insisted, "We've never been this united."

    In an interview later with Florida's WPEC-TV, Trump was asked if he was being "baited into battles."

    Crowd Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Clinton in Florida

    [NATL] Crowd Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Clinton in Florida
    At an event in Coconut Creek, Florida, Hillary Clinton said that Trump is "attacking everything that has set our country apart for 240 years," pointing to his refusal at the final debate to commit to conceding the race if he loses. As she tried to make this point, the crowd erupted into singing her "Happy Birthday." Clinton turns 69 on Oct. 26. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    "I think that's probably right," he acknowledged. "We're going to focus more on Hillary Clinton."

    The most powerful Republicans in Washington and New York's Trump Tower concede things will not change unless Trump wants them to.

    "The candidate is in control of his campaign," Manafort told Fox News Channel on Wednesday, highlighting his inability to control the nominee. "And I'm in control of doing the things that he wants me to do in the campaign."

    Clinton, meanwhile, kept up her assault on Trump's business practices, holding up a Trump-branded tie as she spoke at the Knotty Tie Company in battleground Colorado. 

    'Late Night’: Trump's Obamacare Fail

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at Donald Trump's Obamacare Fail
    With the Obama administration announcing that premiums for health care would go up next year, Donald Trump had a substantial critique in his grasp. But, host Seth Meyers says, the Trump campaign missed the opportunity for a substantial critique, opting to instead make strange appeals to black voters. (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    "I really would like him to explain why he paid Chinese workers to make Trump ties," she told employees in Denver, "instead of deciding to make those ties right here in Colorado."

    Trump blamed the media — "so dishonest" — for growing criticism of his recent statements and his unwillingness to accept guidance from senior advisers.

    Privately, however, Trump has concerns about his own team.

    He was deeply upset when GOP leaders "took the other side" during his quarrel with the Khans, one person said, and blames his staff for not keeping top Republicans in line. Another person said Trump is irritated that planning in battleground states isn't further along with less than 100 days until Election Day.

    Warren to Trump 'Nasty Women' Vote

    [NATL] Warren to Trump 'Nasty Women' Vote
    Hillary Clinton is joined by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Oct. 24, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016)

    Trump stunned Republicans by telling The Washington Post this week that he wasn't ready to endorse Ryan, ahead of his primary. Ryan has backed Trump despite deep differences on policy and temperament, and has encouraged other Republicans to unite behind the party's nominee.

    Trump on Wednesday reported raising $80 million in July for his campaign and the Republican Party, a significant improvement from past months. Clinton raised about $90 million over the same period.