5 Big Reveals From a Private Trump Campaign Briefing

Trump's top strategists explained how the campaign is turning a new leaf.

ByABC News
April 22, 2016, 2:03 PM

— -- Huddling in a meeting room at the luxurious Diplomat Hotel Resort & Spa beachside Thursday evening, senior advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign mingled with party leaders and gave a formal presentation outlining Trump’s path to victory.

In a 57-minute meeting, Paul Manafort, Wiley and former presidential candidate Ben Carson explained how they will turn a new leaf in the Trump campaign, as heard in a recording first obtained by the New York Times.

Here are the 5 biggest reveals from Trump’s strategist:

Extending the Olive Branch to the RNC

Manafort started off the presentation by asserting that Trump is not running against the Republican National Committee.

“He has actually had some very good conversations with the Chairman,” Manafort said, adding later, “He is prepared to work with the RNC and committees to raise money... so that we will be well funded.”

Manafort told reporters that the campaign has faith in the party, expressing willingness to work together and be a “united team.”

Wiley, who was once the political director for the RNC, told reporters, he too, is “excited” about partnering with his former employer.

“I’m excited about not only winning the nomination, but pairing up with the RNC again,” Wiley said.

Fixing Trump’s Personality

As the race heats up, both strategists admitted Trump’s campaign isn’t the only thing being polished.

“People don’t know what to make of him, some of the stump speeches he’s given, some of the style he has, some of the ways in which he’s presented the issues,” Manafort said of his boss. “It’s his personality that people have trouble with.”

Manafort compared Trump’s unpopularity to that of Ronald Reagan’s when the California governor first ran for president as an “outsider.”

Wiley added, “All that stuff [referring to the unfavorability ratings] goes away once you become the nominee.”

The Trump campaign recognized that polling shows Trump’s personality is a negative, but also argued it’s not “as big as threat as people make it out to be.”

“Fixing personality negatives is a lot easier than fixing character negatives,” Manafort said, referring to Clinton and later calling her “crooked Hillary.”

Two Trumps

"When he's sitting in a room, he's talking business, he's talking politics in a private room, it's a different persona," Manafort said. "When he's out on the stage, when he's talking about the kinds of things he's talking about on the stump, he's projecting an image that's for that purpose."

Ben Carson back in March spoke of “two Trumps” when he explained why he was supporting Trump for president.

“There are two different Donald Trumps,” Carson said then at the Mar-A-Largo club in Palm Beach, Florida. “There's the one you see on the stage, and there's the one who's very cerebral, sits there, and considers things very carefully.

Manafort insisted in the Thursday meeting they will begin to see a real different Trump on the campaign trail.

Not Interested in Changing the Rules

“He is winning -- he’s not interested in changing the rules,” Manafort assured.

Manafort added, “He is concerned about what he considers to be a transparency issue. Where the voters are voting for something and the rules apply to something else -- a random selection of delegates.”

Carson applauded Trump for “recognizing what is wrong” with the system and argued the real estate mogul has a point.

“You don’t have to be all that smart to realize that if you have an election, and the majority of the people vote for somebody that person should get the majority of the delegates,” Carson said, and admitted Trump understands it’s “too late” to change the rules.

A More Traditional Campaign

Manafort said Trump will steer in the direction of a more traditional campaign.

“He envisions preparing a campaign operation that will be what you all are starkly used to,” he said.

Carson joked, “Democrats think that they have an ace in the hole. They think that all they have to do is insult [Trump] and he will go crazy. News flash, he’s not going to do that.”

“He knows exactly what it is that [Democrats] trying to do.”