Republican National Committee officials met with the Trump campaign in New York City Wednesday to brief them on what RNC operations might look like should Trump win the nomination, a party official confirmed to NBC News.
According to another source with knowledge of the meeting, several high-ranking members of the RNC were in attendance, with Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski among those at the table representing the Trump campaign. Donald Trump was not present, but was informed about the meeting.
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An RNC official confirmed the meeting and told NBC News that this is “standard and common” practice, done to prepare for the general election and the eventual nominee — whoever that might be.
They are meeting with all the campaigns to discuss RNC efforts in the lead up to the 2016 general election. They declined to specify which campaigns have already met with the RNC but said that these meetings have happened, and will continue to happen, as the primary process continues.
"That’s the beauty of the committee," the source, who agreed to discuss the meeting on the condition of anonymity, told NBC. “[The RNC] can talk directly with the campaigns and be open about what our efforts are to prepare for the eventual nominee.”
But to others, the conference might be seen as a sign that the RNC is taking Trump’s future as the party’s possible standard bearer seriously — despite publicly condemning his recent proposal to bar Muslims from coming into the country.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus said Tuesday that he doesn’t agree with Trump’s proposal and that "we need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism, but not at the expense of our American values."
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According to a NBC/WSJ poll released Thursday, a majority of the country disagrees with Trump’s proposal — 57 percent of Americans disagree with the banning of Muslims.
Yet among Republicans the views are mixed: 42 percent support the ban, while 36 percent oppose it. And among GOP primary voters the difference shrinks still, with 38 percent support the proposal with 39 percent opposing it.
In multiple television and print interviews after the initial proposal, Trump has repeated that this ban would only be a temporary step until “we can get our hands around a very serious problem.”
In light of this, and other condemnations from high ranking members of the GOP establishment (as well as almost all of his GOP presidential candidate rivals), Trump has reignited talk about whether he’ll adhere to an RNC pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee.
Continuing to leave the door open on Fox News Wednesday night, Trump said "If I'm treated fairly, I would never do it. If I'm not treated fairly, I might very well do it.”
These kinds of meetings are not unprecedented, nor are they exclusive to the Republican Party. Last week, the New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook requested reviews of DNC capabilities of “core functions” ahead of the 2016 general election.