Clinton allies say they're ready for a rough campaign after Trump shakeup

A Trump campaign official who spoke on condition of anonymity disputed that the new staff signals a plan to use tabloid-style tactics. Instead, the official said, the campaign will be unpredictable and won’t follow the standard playbook.

One Clinton campaign official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that throughout staff discussions Wednesday, the consensus was that Trump’s moves shouldn’t change anything in terms of Clinton’s lines of defense. Aides reaffirmed a strategy they agreed to in May, when it became clear Trump would be the Republican nominee, of avoiding what they saw as a trap of getting into a tit-for-tat with Trump over personal attacks.

The campaign’s thinking then and now, the official said, is that Clinton should take the high road, and if Trump goes after her personally, she should shift the message to focus on groups Trump may be attacking.

If the staff shakeup emboldens Trump to embrace more nationalistic or divisive rhetoric, as many Democrats are predicting, it could give Clinton an opportunity to expand her defense of Trump’s rhetorical targets, including women, Muslim-Americans, and other minority groups.