Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump Wednesday and pled with the real estate mogul – who’s soaring in the polls – to tone down his comments on immigration. But according to Trump’s campaign manager, Trump will not comply.
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said he was unaware of the exact contents of the phone call, but, “There’s no question in my mind that Mr. Trump’s fortitude on [immigration] will be unshaken, whether it’s a phone call from Reince Priebus or whether it’s [a business cutting its ties.]”
Trump’s comments on illegal immigration have caused controversy over the past few weeks, causing the businessman to cut ties with several business partners.
According to the Washington Post, Preibus, “responding to demands from increasingly worried party leaders,” phoned Trump on Wednesday. The Post also reported Trump and Preibus are friendly with one another and Trump had previously phoned Preibus last weekend.
The Post reported:
Priebus’s decision to reach out to Trump came after days of talks with Republican donors and officials about how best to manage Trump’s outsize presence on the airwaves. Many financiers who are influential at the RNC have been fuming about Trump’s ascent and told Priebus that he must ensure that the RNC’s efforts over the past year to win more of the Hispanic vote is not harmed.
The call lasted about 45 minutes, the donors said, and Priebus was cordial, updating Trump on the party and the primary calendar while also urging him to “tone it down” — a phrase used repeatedly by those with knowledge of the exchange. Priebus told Trump that making inroads with Hispanics is one of his central missions as chairman. He told Trump that tone matters greatly and that Trump’s comments are more offensive than he might imagine with that bloc.
Chief Strategist for the RNC Sean Spicer stated, “Chairman Priebus often speaks privately with candidates seeking our party’s nomination.” Spicer continued, “He did have a very respectful conversation with Mr. Trump on Wednesday. They discussed multiple comments, including comments on illegal immigration.”
California based Republican operative Reed Galen told the Post, “The fact that he is rising in the polls has something to do with tapping into an angst and anger, especially on immigration, that the other candidates have been unwilling or unable to harness.”
Trump’s campaign manager also confirmed the phone call to CNN.
“He said Trump and Priebus spoke, but he could not confirm how long it was or what was discussed,” CNN reported.
“It is not unusual for Mr. Trump to have a conversation with Priebus on a fairly regular basis as the leading candidate for the GOP nomination,” Lewandowski stated.