Donald Trump's new convention delegate manager, Paul Manafort, met Thursday with a number of Republican National Committee members during their spring meeting in Hollywood, Florida.
During the meeting, he suggested the GOP presidential front-runner had been "playing an act," and would soon be changing to a "more presidential persona" in public. He also pledged to work more closely with the party establishment to help unify Republicans ahead of the November election.
"That's what's important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he's been playing is evolving," he said. "The negatives are going to come down, the image is going to change, but Clinton is still going to be Crooked Hillary."
"Manafort said Trump is not running against the Republican National Committee, despite his very public comments about the nomination process that suggested it was "rigged" by party insiders. He added that the front-runner wants to coordinate with the party apparatus.
"He gave us the mandate to bring together a team of professionals that could finish the job for him, but could also then begin to link in with the establishment institutions that are part of our party, what you represent, what the state parties represent," he said. "We've started all those conversations ... he cares about the united team."
Manafort said Trump will deliver a foreign policy speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., next week.
He was joined by the campaign's new political director, Rick Wiley, who laid out his plan to win the general election. He sweetened Trump's olive-branch offer by suggesting the states—all of which have long histories of voting Democrat—that the businessman would be competitive in, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
"Can we win Illinois?" Manafort asked. "I don't know, but what we can do is make Hillary Clinton go to Illinois, make her spend money there, make her spend money in the Northeast."
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