The Note: Trump Takes on GOP Establishment


--DONALD TRUMP DOESN’T THINK REPUBLICAN PARTY ‘HAS TO BE UNIFIED’: Donald Trump says he thinks he can win the general election, even if the Republican Party does not unify to support his candidacy, ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL reports. "Does it have to be unified? I'm very different than everybody else, perhaps, that's ever run for office. I actually don't think so," Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. "I think it would be better if it were unified, I think it would be -- there would be something good about it. But I don't think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense," Trump said.

--DONALD TRUMP WALKS BACK TAX PLAN, SAYING ‘IT’S GOING TO BE NEGOTIATED’: As Donald Trump pivots to the general election battle, he's already walking back his tax plan, the most specific policy proposal he has released during the campaign. "By the time it gets negotiated, it's going to be a different plan," Trump said on ABC News' "This Week." In Trump’s tax plan, the wealthiest individuals would get a tax break, with the top tax rate dropping from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. But when pressed if he wants taxes on the wealthy to go up or down, he predicted that the top rate would be higher than the plan says. "On my plan they're going down. But by the time it's negotiated, they'll go up," Trump said. "Look, when I'm negotiating with the Democrats, I'm putting in a plan. I'm putting in my optimum plan. It's going to be negotiated, George. It's not going to stay there. They're not going to say, 'There's your plan, let's approve it.' They're going to say, 'Let's see what we can do.'" ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL has more.

--DONALD TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN ON ATTACKS ON HILLARY CLINTON AS ‘ENABLER’ OF HUSBAND’S AFFAIRS: Looking ahead to the general election, Donald Trump is doubling down on his criticism of Hillary Clinton as an "enabler" of her husband's affairs. "Hillary hurt many women. The women that he [Bill Clinton] abused," he told supporters at a campaign event in Spokane, Washington. "Some of those women were destroyed not by him, but by the way that Hillary Clinton treated them after everything went down," he went on. According to ABC’s INES DE LA CUETARA, the presumptive Republican nominee didn't hold back when it came to Bill Clinton, either. "Hillary Clinton's husband abused women more than any man that we know of in the history of politics," he said.

ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: RINO hunting is a dangerous business. To review some recent history: Eric Cantor and John Boehner were pushed out of their posts because they were accused of being more interested in power than principle. Now the current House speaker, Paul Ryan, is being threatened with losing his seat because he says he is…putting principle above party? Sarah Palin’s promise to support a Ryan primary challenger, in retaliation for Ryan’s decision to withhold support for Donald Trump, is a stark example of why the Republican Party’s divisions will be exposed all the way through November. You can’t heal a rift that doesn’t want to be brought together. In an interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Trump uttered words that – in another context – would have made him the very definition of a RINO (Republican in Name Only). “I have to stay true to my principles also,” Trump said. “This is called the Republican Party. It’s not called the Conservative Party.”


PALIN: PAUL RYAN’S CAREER IS ‘OVER’ FOR NOT SUPPORTING TRUMP. Sarah Palin will work to defeat House Speaker Paul Ryan in his primary reelection challenge, she said Sunday. “I think Paul Ryan is soon to be 'cantored,' as in Eric Cantor,” the former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate said on CNN’s State of the Union, ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON notes. "His political career is over, but for a miracle, "Palin added, "because he has so disrespected the will of the people and yeah, as the leader of the GOP, the convention certainly, he is to remain neutral, and for him to already come out and say who he will not support, was not a wise decision of his." Ryan is being challenged in an August primary by Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, who has pledged support for Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, “because it will have been the will of the voters that got him there,” he said in a statement.

LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE CALL 2016 RACE A ‘REAL OPPORTUNITY.’ Donald Trump’s new status as the presumptive Republican nominee has some “Never Trump” conservatives calling for a new third party candidate, but Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson says they should consider him as their alternative instead. “I think it is a real opportunity,” Johnson said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I do think that Clinton and Trump are the two most polarizing figures in politics today.” The former two-term governor of New Mexico hasn’t yet secured the Libertarian Party nomination, but if he does at the party’s convention on May 27, this November won’t be the first time he’s competed against Democratic and Republican nominee, ABC’s ADRIENNE SALAZAR notes.

HOW GOP LEADERS ARE COMING TO TERMS WITH DONALD TRUMP. Donald Trump's ascension from Republican presidential contender to presumptive party nominee this week left some -- though not all -- members of the GOP dealing with the emotional pangs of sudden and severe loss. What once sounded like a fever dream to many conservatives -- a reality star as a possible general election candidate -- all but became a reality. All week, many Republican leaders seemed to be passing through the political equivalent of the five stages of grief. Some even spoke of Trump's grip on the nomination in those terms. ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW looks at where some of them stand on the spectrum:

HILLARY CLINTON NICKNAMES DONALD TRUMP THE ‘PRESUMPTUOUS NOMINEE.’ Donald Trump has been known to assign nicknames to his rival presidential candidates. But now it appears he’s getting a taste of his own medicine -- from Hillary Clinton, ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ writes. During a campaign event in Oakland, California, on Friday at La Escuelita Elementary School, the Democratic presidential front-runner prescribed a new name for the man who is being called the Republican presumptive nominee: The “presumptuous nominee.” “Their presumptive nominee, otherwise called their presumptuous nominee,” Clinton told the crowd to laughter, referring to the Republicans, "has made it really clear he basically said wages are too high in America.


SIX MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH TED CRUZ. All told, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz campaigned for the presidency for more than 13 months. As a campaign embed, ABC’s JESSICA HOPPER writes, I was along for the ride (literally) for nine months, to 27 states and hundreds of campaign stops, capturing his every move on camera and firing off questions as he made headlines along the way. During Cruz's time on the campaign trail, he never needed Secret Service, which meant his press corps and his supporters got extraordinary access. Here are six of the most memorable moments on the trail with candidate Cruz.


THE MEANING BEHIND HILLARY CLINTON’S FAVORITE ACCESSORY. For more than two decades, Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye, her appearance — changing hairstyles, evolving pantsuits — constantly scrutinized and discussed. While the campaign trail this year has been no different (in fact, it’s even something Clinton herself makes light of), there is one item in the Democratic presidential candidate's wardrobe that has gotten less attention, but holds more significance. ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ has more.

HILLARY CLINTON DECLARED WINNER OF GUAM DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES. The Guam Democratic Party declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the party's presidential caucuses in the U.S. territory on Saturday, ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON and EMILY SHAPIRO report. Counting superdelegates, Clinton has amassed just over 93 percent of the necessary total to clinch the Democratic nomination, according to ABC News projections. To get to the magic number of 2,383, the former secretary of state needs to win 16 percent of all remaining delegates and 73 percent of pledged delegates. Guam marks Clinton’s 26th victory in the primary season.


@meridithmcgraw: Bobby Jindal in @wsj: I’m voting Trump, but he might appoint Judge Judy to SCOTUS … via WSJ

@Hadas_Gold: Are you a reporter from an international outlet? Good luck getting into a Trump event

@mikedebonis: >@royblunt faces tough post-Trump reality: no Senate seat is safe

@morningmoneyben: Mark Salter thinks the general election will drive @realDonaldTrump insane. Great @GlennThrush #OffMessage

?@wpjenna: Donald Trump is on CNN right now -- and sounding angry as he defends himself against accusations that he has changed key positions.