WaPo: Bill Clinton encouraged Trump to play a bigger role in the GOP in phone call shortly before campaign launch

Who else would a conservative folk hero turn to for wise counsel while contemplating a run for president but Bill Clinton?

It’s cute that WaPo thinks this is a big “get,” as if it’ll discourage a single Trump supporter from backing him. The first rule of political hero worship is that the hero can do no wrong.

Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape…

Trump took the call from his office in Trump Tower in New York, according to the four allies, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. The call came as Trump was making a final decision about whether to run, and he was candid about his political ambitions and his potential interest in seeking the White House during the talk, these allies said.

The 42nd president listened intently and then analyzed Trump’s prospects and his desire to rouse the GOP base, the Trump allies said.

The tone of the call was informal and Clinton never urged Trump to run, the four people said. Rather, they said, Clinton sounded curious about Trump’s moves toward a presidential bid and told Trump that he was striking a chord with frustrated conservatives and was a rising force on the right.

Clinton was reportedly “upbeat and encouraging” during the call because of course he was, darling. Team Trump claims that Clinton reached out to him while Team Clinton claims it was Trump who reached out first, but both sides agree that the two have had “many” calls over the years. And why wouldn’t they? There’s a perfectly logical explanation for it: Trump likes the Clintons. He’s given them campaign money. He invited them to his wedding. Why wouldn’t he turn to the husband of the next Democratic presidential nominee, himself a former Democratic president, for advice on running to oppose her in the general election? And why wouldn’t Clinton encourage him? You know Bill — always looking out for the conservative base.

The competition has already begun on Twitter to find the lamest pro-Trump spin for all this:



A central irony of Trumpmania is that it’s blown up partly in response to the prospect of another dynastic incestuous Bush/Clinton race being foisted on the public — and yet Trump himself, ostensibly the firebreathing Beltway outsider, is sufficiently chummy with the Clintons to have had them as wedding guests. America: Where even the anti-establishmentarians are “very, very establishment.”

Here’s one of Trump’s advisors anticipating the campaign’s inevitable reply to all this, namely, that the best negotiator in the history of the universe always has a good reason for the things he does. Trust in the hero and he will deliver. Exit question: I know why Clinton’s aides would be eager to plant this story in the media the day before the GOP debate but I can’t imagine why four(!) Trump allies would be willing to confirm it. Why’d they do that, knowing the suspicions it would arouse among Republicans? Is this all part of some master trolling effort to gaslight conservatives or could Trump aides simply not resist the free publicity involved with a story about him yakking to Bill Clinton about the presidential race?