U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2015. REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec

Actual and Sincere Credit to Donald Trump For This

It has happened to every single major Republican self-funder. Every single time a self-funding Republican stands up and gets traction, the professional Republican consultants and lobbyist class swoop in and bleed the candidate dry on the road to defeat. Donald Trump has realized it is happening to him.

Trump shook up his campaign and brought in one of Moscow’s friend’s, Paul Manafort, a man who has represented undesirables worldwide who have interests hostile to our own. But he has a credentialed resumé and experience in delegate operations, etc.

Manafort then brought in Rick Wiley, the man who sank Scott Walker’s campaign. After Wiley, Manafort brought in a host of lobbyist friends who help him “right” the ship. His first actions were internal warfare to marginalize Trump’s old staff, ignoring the delegate fights it seems. Then Manafort started making promises his candidate had no intention of keeping. This included telling the RNC that what Trump is doing now is all an act.

Donald Trump appears to understand the shakedown is underway. Every time a major Republican self-funder begins to rise, the professional consulting class of the GOP sinks their fangs in and bleeds the candidate dry.

Then, later in the week, Trump expressed concern after learning about Manafort’s moves to bolster the campaign by bringing on associates from his lobbying days, as well as his pitch to leery Republican Party leaders.

In leaked audio from a presentation to the Republican National Committee, Manafort suggested that Trump’s bombastic campaign trail rhetoric was just “projecting an image” to win over voters. “The image is going to change,” Manafort said on the recording.

Around the same time, POLITICO revealed that Manafort brought in a handful of operatives who had ties to his lobbying firm, which had developed a niche representing a roster of controversial international clients who have been collectively described as “the torturers’ lobby.”

In particular, multiple sources said Trump was bothered by news stories about Manafort’s representation of Saudi Arabia and for a group accused of being a front for Pakistani intelligence.

This has turned out badly for every self-funding Republican. I was really kind of excited when Manafort and Wiley signed on because I expected it to happen to Trump. But I have to give Donald Trump credit for figuring out what’s going on and taking swift action to stop it. Letting Trump be Trump got him this far. Telling people it was all an act does nothing but undermine his authenticity.

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Erick Erickson

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