GOP Frustrations With Donald Trump Mount as Allies Weigh Options | NBC Bay Area
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.

    >App users: Watch live video here.

    "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. 

    Trump Will Honor Election Results 'If I Win'

    [NATL] Trump Will Honor Presidential Election Results 'If I Win'
    Speaking at a rally in Ohio on Oct. 20, 2016, Donald Trump said that he would accept the presidential election results if they were in his favor. "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all the people of the United Staes that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election -- if I win,” Donald Trump said, emphasizing the last three words by pointing into the crowd. The rally was held the day following the final debate, during which the issue of whether he would accept the election results came up. At the debate, he said he would have to wait and see what the results were. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    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

    Trump, Clinton Trade Insults at Dinner

    [NATL-NY] Trump, Clinton Trade Insults at Dinner
    Bitter presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had one more face-to-face showdown before Election Day. They tried to make it funny but plenty of the jokes bombed, and some even earned scattered boos. Watch each of the candidates' roasts in their entirety here. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    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.

    Fact Check: Trump and Clinton's Debate Claims

    [NATL] Fact Check: Trump and Clinton's Debate Claims
    Donald Trump painted an inaccurately dark portrait of manufacturing in America while Hillary Clinton stretched credulity in boasting that her spending plans won't add to the country's debt. Associated Press writer Chris Rugaber breaks down those claims and more. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 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."

    Clinton Speaks About Trump's Comments on Women

    [NATL] Clinton Speaks About Trump's Comments on Women
    “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” Hillary Clinton said at the debate on Oct. 19, 2016. Donald Trump responded by saying, "Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody." (Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 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. 

    Trump to Clinton: You Have 'Bad Experience'

    [NATL] Trump to Clinton: You Have 'Bad Experience'
    “The one thing you have over me is experience," Donald Trump told Hillary Clinton at the final debate on Oct. 19, 2016. "But it's bad experience." (Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 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.

    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    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.