Donald Trump News for May 19, 2016

Well, that didn’t take long. A few weeks ago Donald Trump was polling a decent length behind likely Democratic presidential challenger Hillary Clinton. But in a new presidential poll from Rasmussen Reports, Trump now leads Clinton 42 percent to 38 percent when likely voters were surveyed:

The latest findings were gathered the night before and the night after Trump’s announcement yesterday of 11 conservative judges he would consider for the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, furthering his efforts to unify the party and end the #NeverTrump movement among some Republicans. Clinton on Tuesday eked out a primary win in Kentucky but lost the Oregon primary to Bernie Sanders as the race for the Democratic presidential nomination took a more chaotic turn. Read the full survey report here.

Did he just say that? Yes, he did. In an exclusive, hour-long interview last night on Fox News‘ “Hannity” program, Trump dropped the “R” word when discussing former Bill Clinton’s legendary infidelities:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used the word “rape” Wednesday evening to describe alleged sexual misconduct by former President Bill Clinton. 

Trump made the comment during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. The real estate mogul was answering questions about an unflattering story published this past weekend by The New York Times involving his relationships with women when he turned his attention to Bill Clinton.

“By the way, you know, it’s not like the worst things, OK,” Trump said. “You look at what Clinton’s gone through with all of the problems and all of the things that he’s done.” 

Regarding that NYT hit piece, it’s pretty much completely fallen apart. Immediately after it was published, one of the main women in the story, Rowanne Brewer Lane, appeared on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning to denounce the paper’s characterization of a past relationship with Trump, as in, it didn’t happen like that. Others women have since stood up for The Donald as well.

As for the Hannity interview, there is much more, and you can read it all here.

Wishful thinking, perhaps, but what if it were to happen? Longtime GOP strategist and leader of George W. Bush’s two successful presidential campaigns, Karl Rove, writing in The Wall Street Journal today, ponders a presidential contest between a leading Republican frontrunner, Trump, and an indicted Hillary Clinton:

If the bureau recommends that the Justice Department indict Mrs. Clinton or close aides like Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedinor Jake Sullivan for acting with gross negligence—disregard of known or easily anticipated risks—in sending classified information over a private email server, the campaign could be completely scrambled.

And what if the indictment comes later?

What happens, however, if Mrs. Clinton or someone in her inner circle is indicted after the convention? The Democratic leadership could move to replace her on the ticket. Presumably this would require her to agree to resign as the nominee and be replaced either by a snap convention or by the Democratic National Committee acting on the party’s behalf. Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t give up easily—she and her husband have brazenly pressed through previous scandals.

Even if she agreed to step down, Democrats would have only a narrow window to act. While many states allow election officials to place major-party nominees on the ballot at their discretion, at least 25 states set deadlines for parties to formally certify nominees.

Rove continues, here.

Can House Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump co-exist or actually work in tandem? Yes, there is a way forward here, and Michael J. Lotus lays it all out at The Federalist:

Achieving a much higher degree of party unity should be less difficult than many imagine. Much of the opposition to Trump is a matter of style, including his blunt and forceful language, his indifference to decorum, and his pugnacious and confrontational tone. But the actual substantive differences between Trump and most Republican voters, even many who opposed him, can be overcome. …

A Republican “Make America Great Again” platform would include a commitment by a GOP majority Congress to pass certain legislation in the first 100 days of the next presidential term. Trump, as president, would commit to signing each such item of legislation into law. These commitments and this platform will provide a clear and dramatic program of action for the new president and for the 114th Congress, and a unifying agenda for all Republican candidates. Lots of good ideas for creating unity under a Trump presidency, and they are all listed here.

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