Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus is being called Donald Trump’s “unlikely villain” heading into the Republican National Convention in July.
Reuters’ reporter Steve Holland writes, “Priebus has taken frequent calls from Trump to explain nomination rules or simply hear him out, aides said.” Holland notes the relationship between Trump and Priebus has improved.
Priebus said he talks with the Republican frontrunner about “the daily events of the day or the week or the moment or the debate.”
Priebus also speaks regularly with Trump’s competition, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
It’s Preibus’ goal to unify the Republican Party after a nominee is chosen in preparation for the general election to avoid losing the White House to a Democrat in November.
Reporting from Florida where the RNC held its meeting last week, Holland reports, “On Friday, when Priebus urged the party to rally around the eventual nominee, the blowback from the stop-Trump crowd was intense.”
“The best way for the Republican Party to unite, win and to grow is to reject Donald Trump,” #NeverTrump adviser Rory Cooper told Holland.
Trump’s recent rhetoric bashing the Republican Party primary rules reportedly doesn’t bother Priebus.
“No, he doesn’t because I kind of know where he’s coming from. I’m not unfamiliar with his opinions. So it doesn’t really bother me because I know what the truth is,” Priebus explained.
“They don’t agree on everything but they agree to try to work things out and they are working things out,” Trump’s senior advisor Paul Manafort said about Trump and Priebus.
“They’re not best buddies or anything but they have a pretty good relationship,” a RNC member told Holland, agreeing with Manafort. “I consider all this back and forth as a little bit of ‘heat of the battle’ tensions.”