Report: Donald Trump turns down RNC speaking slot

Newsmax cites a “source with knowledge of convention plans” to report that Donald Trump has declined a prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

But in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, Trump seemed to have a different attitude toward speaking at the RNC, which starts Aug. 27.

“They like what I say,” he said of voters. “I’m a very popular guy, as crazy as it might sound. It’s nice to be loved.”

Trump, who famously harassed President Barack Obama into releasing his full birth certificate and made a brief foray into running for president, will reportedly be in the Tampa area, receiving the “statesman of the year” award from the Republican Party of Sarasota County, Fla.

Trump nearly hosted a debate sponsored by Newsmax in January leading up to the Iowa caucuses and often uses anonymous leaks to news outlets to keep his name in the public eye.

It is not immediately clear that Trump was actually invited to speak at the convention.

Follow Paul on Twitter