From Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns writing at The New York Times:
Only a handful of people close to Mr. Trump understood the depth of his interest in the presidency, and the earnestness with which he eyed the 2016 campaign. Mr. Trump had struck up a friendship in 2009 with David N. Bossie, the president of the conservative group Citizens United, who met Mr. Trump through the casino magnate Steve Wynn.
Mr. Trump conferred with Mr. Bossie during the 2012 election and, as 2016 approached, sought his advice on setting up a campaign structure. Mr. Bossie made recommendations for staff members to hire, and Mr. Trump embraced them.
Mr. Trump also carefully cultivated relationships with conservative media outlets, reaching out to talk radio personalities and right-wing websites likeBreitbart.com.
By then, Mr. Trump had won a degree of acceptance as a Republican donor. Advised by Mr. Stone, one of his longest-serving counselors, he had abandoned his long-held practice of giving modest sums to both parties, and opened his checkbook for Republicans with unprecedented enthusiasm.
Read the rest of the story at The New York Times.