— -- As he begins to build his strategy for the general election, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will not only attack his likely Democrat opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but also her husband and family, according to Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist.
“Trouble follows the Clinton’s everywhere,” Paul Manafort told ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, during an interview Sunday on “This Week.”
“People are frustrated with all of the drama around the Clinton family and the history of the Clinton family," he said. "And certainly, if they're going to be back in the political milieu, then their history is relevant to what the American people can expect.”
Manafort added that because Hillary Clinton recently suggested her husband could potentially be in charge of fixing the economy in her administration, “the whole family is up for discussion.”
With Trump officially clinching enough delegates for the nomination this week, Manafort said Trump has “identified a list of people” for consideration as his vice president, including female candidates, and that the process is on track to “announce his candidate sometime around the convention.”
“Mr. Trump has said that he wants a vice president who knows Washington, is able to deal with the Congress and could be viewed as somebody who could be president,” Manafort said.
“He said that it's the qualification of the candidate that matter, not the gender and not the ethnicity,” Trump’s campaign chief added. “And there are many Republican women who are qualified, and several who might be on the list.”
Asked whether potential candidates will have to turn over their tax returns, Manafort said, “The list of candidates that he will be considering will be fully vetted.”
Manafort also responded to the reversal by his boss who earlier this week appeared eager to debate Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I'd love to debate Bernie, actually,” Trump said during a press conference Thursday.
“I mean, the problem with debating Bernie, he's gonna lose,” he added.
"The question should be, why is Hillary Clinton afraid to debate Bernie Sanders?” he said. (Clinton has rejected multiple offers from the Sanders campaign to debate ahead of the California primaries in just over a week.)
“Bernie should have that chance,” Manafort said, adding that Trump would “debate [whomever] it is that emerges from the system” and becomes the Democratic nominee.
Manafort, who was promoted to his current role as head of the campaign two weeks ago, also dismissed recent media reports citing that some Trump staffers claimed their offices in Trump Tower might have been wiretapped.
“There's a lot of good work going on there and we've been able to develop a campaign that is cohesive, that's working together, and in a record time thanks to a great candidate who has got a vision and connected to the American people, put the campaign in a position to win the presidency," Manafort said.