Earlier this month, the Senate Republican campaign arm circulated a memo with shocking advice to GOP candidates on responding to coronavirus: “Don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban — attack China.”

The Trump campaign was furious.

On Monday — just days after POLITICO first reported the existence of the memo — Trump political adviser Justin Clark told NRSC executive director Kevin McLaughlin that any Republican candidate who followed the memo’s advice shouldn’t expect the active support of the reelection campaign and risked losing the support of Republican voters.

McLaughlin responded by saying he agreed with the Trump campaign’s position and, according to two people familiar with the conversation, clarified that the committee wasn’t advising candidates to not defend Trump over his response.