The Note: Trump Thursday in DC


--MR. TRUMP GOES TO WASHINGTON: Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will meet with top Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., today as he tries to bridge the divide within the Republican Party after a contentious primary race, ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ reports. Trump’s visit to Washington will bring him face-to-face with House Speaker Paul Ryan, the nation’s top Republican elected official who has yet to offer his support for the real estate mogul’s candidacy. The two men have only met one other time, crossing paths backstage at a 2012 fundraising event for the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, who is now one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s run for the White House.

--INSIDE THE TRUMP-RYAN DYNAMIC: The pair met once, when Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate during the 2012 presidential election. Yet on the campaign trail, Trump up until recently, had occasionally taken hits at the newly-elected speaker, ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and CANDACE SMITH note. During the chaos on Capitol Hill last fall, Trump was asked if he would support the Wisconsin representative for speaker. Trump, dodging the question, said "Paul Ryan's a nice man. I would like to see someone extremely tough in there, but that vote’s not up to me, it it's up to the people who are voting.” Trump’s key issue on the campaign trial has been immigration. Last year Trump said Ryan was "weak on illegal immigration," and he has also criticized Ryan's stance on amnesty. At a rally in South Carolina in February, Trump also blamed Ryan for Romney losing the 2012 presidential election.

--WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT TRUMP’S MEETINGS: As Trump travels to Washington, D.C., today for meetings with top Republican leaders, ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and MARY BRUCE have more on what to expect.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Donald Trump said he would do this, just about in as many words. For months, as he rolled out hard-edged, no-nonsense policies, Trump said that “everything is negotiable,” and even, “I’m capable of changing to anything I want to change to.” Here he is now, barely a week after his final rivals dropped out, waffling and adjusting on the minimum wage, entitlement reform, tax policy, and even the Muslim ban. “I would like to back off as soon as possible” on the proposed ban, he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News Wednesday. The immediate question for Paul Ryan is which Trump he would prefer. The presumptive nominee isn’t moving in a particularly consistent policy direction, much less one Ryan would endorse. It’s hard to see Ryan coming on board without some policy movement he’s comfortable with. But it’s also hard to see Ryan comfortable with as much movement as Trump has demonstrated just in the past eight days.


DEMOCRATS INTRODUCE BILL THAT WOULD OPPOSE TRUMP’S PROPOSED MUSLIM BAN. A group of Democrats on Capitol Hill are using Donald Trump’s visit to Washington to highlight their opposition to the presumptive Republican nominee’s immigration policies, including his past calls to ban Muslims from coming to the United States. ABC’s MARGARET CHADBOURN reports, on Wednesday, they introduced legislation, which is just one paragraph, that would restrict the United States from using someone’s religion as a reason for blocking them from entering the country. The new bill, known as the Freedom of Religion Act, would do so by keeping religious tests out of the immigration process.

TRUMP SAYS HE WON’T RELEASE TAX RETURNS UNTIL AFTER ELECTION. In a reversal, Donald Trump has told The Associated Press that he won’t release his tax returns until after the election in November. "There's nothing to learn from them," Trump told The AP in an interview Tuesday, citing an ongoing audit of his finances as the main reason for withholding the information. He has also said he doesn't believe voters are interested. ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and CANDACE SMITH report, just on Sunday, the presumptive Republican nominee told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’d be willing to release them should the audit be finished in time.

CLINTON SLAMS TRUMP’S TAX PLAN: ‘WRITTEN BY A BILLIONAIRE FOR BILLIONAIRES’. Hillary Clinton ripped into Donald Trump’s tax plan during her remarks at Camden County College in New Jersey Wednesday, saying his plan "was written by a billionaire for billionaires.” She was egged on by a man in the crowd who yelled out about Trump’s returns. (Trump told The Associated Press Tuesday that he won’t release his tax returns until after the November election.) ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ reports Clinton said “we’ll get around to that” as she continued to criticize the presumptive Republican nominee’s plan.

SANDERS SHAKES UP CALIFORNIA CAMPAIGN STAFF. Bernie Sanders' campaign has replaced its California state director less than a month before the state votes in its primary, according to campaign manager Jeff Weaver. Michael Ceraso, who was the campaign's deputy director in New Hampshire, has been replaced with the campaign’s former Iowa state director, Robert Becker. Becker was sent to Michigan and New York and other key states in the last few months. ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS reports he is already working in Los Angeles, according to campaign sources.

NOVEMBER PREVIEW -- SIZABLE CHUNK OF WEST VIRGINIA DEMOCRATS PLAN TO VOTE FOR TRUMP. A sizable portion of Democratic primary voters in West Virginia said they are unlikely to stay with the party in the general election, according to an ABC News exit poll analysis. About one-third of Democratic respondents in preliminary exit polls said that no matter who wins the party's nomination, they plan to vote for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. There were indications earlier in the campaign that Clinton might not fare well in West Virginia, after many rebuked a comment she made about coal miners’ losing jobs during her potential presidency, but the results show a higher-than-expected level of support for Trump. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY, MERIDITH MCGRAW and THE ABC NEWS ANALYSIS DESK have more.


DONALD TRUMP: MASTER OF NICKNAMES. Donald Trump loves nicknames. Throughout the presidential primary season, he has become known for bestowing catchy nicknames upon his friends and foes. Actually, mostly foes. From “Little Marco” to “Crooked Hillary” and everyone in between, ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI take a look at Trump’s top pet names.


@jmhansler: Follow along with @abcpolitics on Snapchat as I take you to Capitol Hill for the @realDonaldTrump GOP meetings!

@eliseviebeck: #Trump Civil War: Republican brothers @SenJohnMcCain and @GrahamBlog on different sides of battle  via @pkcapitol

@JoshSchwerin: WaPo Fact Checker: Trump’s false claim that ‘there’s nothing to learn’ from his tax returns …

@bterris: .@DougHeye on today's Trump Hill summit: 1 side will call it "productive", the other "beautiful" and little news.

@JamesPindell: Joe Biden floated Elizabeth Warren as his VP pick … via @BostonGlobe