Though he has spent the campaign bashing the GOP establishment, Donald Trump said Tuesday he is opening up a Washington D.C. office to “coordinate his campaign’s work with the Republican National Committee, Congress and his convention and delegate operations.”
“The office will serve as a conduit for outreach for Mr. Trump’s campaign organization nationally,” the campaign said in a news release.
The move suggests Trump, who has branded himself an outsider throughout the campaign and has had a rocky relationship with the RNC and other GOP leaders, is gearing up for the general election.
Early in the campaign, Trump initially refused to sign a pledge saying he would support the Republican nominee if he didn’t win the nomination and rule out a third party run. He later signed the pledge with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, saying he wanted assurances he would be treated fairly. In February, Trump accused the RNC of stacking a debate with supporters of his opponents, a charge the organization vehemently denied.
House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore], the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, has publicly criticized Trump several times, including in December when the presidential candidate proposed to restrict Muslims from entering the country.
“Normally, I do not comment on what’s going on in the presidential election,” Ryan said then. “I will take an exception today. This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader [crscore]Mitch McConnell[/crscore] said he recommended to Trump that he speak out against the violence at his rallies.
“Donald Trump called this morning,” McConnell said. “Had a good conversation. And I appreciated his call. And I took the opportunity to recommend to him that no matter who may be triggering these violent expressions or conflicts that we’ve seen in some of these rallies, it might be good to condemn that and discourage it no matter what the source of it is.”