What’s the backup plan for the Trump ticket? Who’s on the presumptive nominee’s short list for fund-raising? And how will Hillary Clinton’s email controversy play out in the election as the investigation comes to a close?
All that and more are a part of this week’s “Inside Politics” forecast.
1) Supporting Trump … for now
Donald Trump has become the presumptive nominee, but while his primary battle is all but over, there seems to be a war going on inside the Republican party.
Some members of Congress are saying they’ll rally around Trump for party unity. But that backing may be fleeting. As the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza reports, at least one senator, who happens to be a leading figure in the party, is having jitters about Trump.
“This senator gave some very qualified praise to Trump, wasn’t ready to endorse, yet, but had some kind things to say. And at the end of the conversation, after talking to the senate for an hour about the dynamics of Trump, he asked, when is this going to appear?’
“[I told him] not for another week, I work on a weekly magazine.’ [He asked] ‘Do you think you could call me back before you go to press just in case Trump said something really crazy and I want to retract my qualifying comments?’ So there’s just so much uncertainty.”
2) The GOP backup plan (if that whole Trump thing doesn’t pan out)
Quite a few sitting members of Congress and governors have said they’ll support Trump, or at least call him “the nominee,” but they’re coming up with some backup plans, just in case.
Jonathan Martin of the New York Times says he’s talked to a senior party official who said he is counseling some of these members of Congress and governors to cut and run, if given the opportunity. As Martin reports, “even though you see a lot of folks already out there endorsing him, you already have these back room conversations of, “If this thing does really get bad, if it does get worse than it is, don’t be afraid to seize that moment to cut him loose.”
3) Where Donald Trump is looking for donors
Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, he’s facing pressure to show that he can raise the kind of money needed for a general election. Great America PAC, which will be the main pro-Trump super PAC, says in the next week or two it will release a list of names of major GOP donors who have committed to giving. As CNN’s MJ Lee reports, there may be some recognizable names on the list.
“We will see if there are, in fact, names who actually can write $1 million checks, which I think would sort of reassure his supporters that he can raise the kind of money needed to be competitive,” she says. “Now the PAC also says in the spirit of his primary campaign, they’re still going to be soliciting a lot of small dollar donations to make sure the sort of grassroots efforts are still behind the PAC.”
4) How skeptical GOPers are handling the Trump ticket
While some Republicans are embracing Trump, others are wondering how the presumptive nominee will affect their own tickets. The Atlantic’s Molly Ball tells “Inside Politics” that some moderate Republicans had a retreat to try to plan for whatever comes in November. The Republicans most worried are in the swing districts. She says her sources “described it as a group therapy session, the vibe in the room. So these are the Republicans that everybody’s going to be watching. They’re trying to figure out how they can run their own races, hopefully save their own skins if, as they expect, the Trump nomination ends up being catastrophic for the party.”
5) All eyes on Clinton (and her emails) as the investigation comes to a close
The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails is entering crunch time. As CNN reports, top Clinton state department aides have been interviewed and the FBI is expecting its sit-down with Secretary Clinton herself to take place quite soon.
CNN’s Pamela Brown and Evan Perez report the FBI has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but they did note investigators are not at the finish line. This comes as Democrats prepare for a fall campaign in which they will hope to keep the White House and also retake the Senate. However, as CNN’s John King reports, the email controversy is the elephant in the room during some Democratic conversations about November. Why? Because it’s a giant wild card. Or as one veteran Democrat put it, “that thing no one wants to talk about that we hope will be okay because we can’t fathom what happens if it isn’t.”