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Trump Takes Steps to Reset His Campaign, Tries to Soften His Image

Trump is under pressure to professionalize his campaign, remedy his image as a misogynist, often-brusque businessman.

Published
World
3 min read
File photo of Donald Trump. (Photo: AP)

Republican front-runner Donald Trump took fresh steps to reset his campaign on Wednesday, hiring a top Republican operative and scheduling a meeting between aides and US lawmakers as he girds for a new phase in his White House bid.

Trump is under pressure to professionalize his campaign beyond a close-knit group of advisers and expand the appeal of his anti-establishment candidacy in the face of fierce opposition from rival US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and a well-funded anti-Trump operation run by establishment Republicans.

Read: Behind Donald Trump, Son-In-Law Jared Kushner Plays Adviser

Trump announced he had hired Rick Wiley as his national political director. Wiley, a long-time Republican strategist, had been campaign manager for Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor who dropped out of the presidential race last autumn.

He brings decades of experience, and his deep ties to political leaders and activists across the country will be a tremendous asset as we enter the final phase of securing the nomination. 
Donald Trump

In addition, Trump‘s campaign arranged a meeting in Washington with about a dozen US legislators as the fierce anti-establishment candidate tries to build more relationships inside Washington and broaden his appeal.

The meeting with the lawmakers and senior Trump adviser Ed Brookover is planned for Thursday morning on Capitol Hill, congressional aides said.

About a dozen lawmakers are expected to attend, some of whom have endorsed Trump and some of whom have not but who are interested in his message. Trump will not be there.

A series of policy speeches Trump plans to begin delivering soon could be among the topics discussed, one source said.

“They’re definitely planning several policy speeches...and they are looking for input on those,” a Republican source familiar with the situation said.

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The Trump campaign received some good news when Politico reported that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was charged last month in Florida with battery on a reporter, will not be prosecuted.

File photo of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, walking with his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. (Photo: AP)
File photo of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, walking with his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. (Photo: AP)

Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg is scheduled to announce the decision not to press charges on Thursday afternoon, Politico reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation.

Megyn Kelly: “Chance to Clear the Air”

In another development, Trump met privately at Trump Tower in New York with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly after months of attacking her for the tough questions she asked him at a Republican debate last August about his treatment of women.

Tensions between Trump and Kelly, and controversial remarks he has made about abortion, have contributed to Trump‘s negative image with women. Opinion polls show the New York billionaire is viewed unfavorably by women by a wide margin.

Read: Trump Suggests ‘Punishment’ for Women Who Get Abortions

Kelly said on her Fox News show she had asked for the meeting and used it to request an interview.

We met for about an hour just the two of us and had a chance to clear the air. 
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The Trump family from L; Eric Trump and his wife Lara, Donald Trump, son Barron, Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon and her husband Donald Trump Jr, children Kia Trump and Donald Trump III, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump. (Photo: Reuters)
The Trump family from L; Eric Trump and his wife Lara, Donald Trump, son Barron, Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon and her husband Donald Trump Jr, children Kia Trump and Donald Trump III, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump. (Photo: Reuters)

Family Man

In recent days Trump has attempted to soften his image with important constituencies such as female voters.

A group interview on CNN on Tuesday night featured Trump, his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr., and showed a more personal side to the often-brusque businessman.

Melania Trump said she had fussed at Trump to stop tweeting at night. “If he would only listen,” she said, chuckling.

Also read: On Twitter, Family & Winning: Trump Family on CNN’s Town Hall

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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