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Looking at a hypothetical post-Trump Republican Party

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Republicans continue to split over Donald Trump before the July convention as Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders hone in on their remaining primaries and delegates.

  • What would a post-Donald Trump Republican Party look like?
  • Some California politicians will skip the Republican National Convention
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus predicts Trump will weather attacks
  • In several key battleground states, prominent Republicans continue to resist Trump’s candidacy

Hello, Columbus! Kasich plans to stick around, rules out third-party run

John Kasich is done running against Donald Trump, for this year anyway.

“I’m not going to do that,” Ohio’s governor said in a CNN interview. “I gave it my best where I am. I just think running third party doesn’t feel right.”

Kasich, who won his home state but nowhere else in his unsuccessful try for the GOP nomination, acknowledged getting feelers about waging an independent bid as a means of keeping Trump from the White House.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Kasich said. “I just don’t think it would be the right thing to do.”

Kasich, who has run twice for president, has good reason to take a pass — from a political standpoint, if nothing else.

His disavowal keeps alive the prospect of becoming Trump’s vice presidential running mate — though, to be clear, Kasich has repeatedly said he has no interest in the No. 2 slot.

Looking beyond 2016, Kasich preserves his political viability by refusing to take on the Manhattan businessman in November. A third-party candidate would almost assuredly put Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House — and turn that spoiler into a Republican pariah.

If Trump loses, Kasich, who is 64, can run again in 2020 as part of the told-you-so wing of the GOP.

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Trouble for Trump in some key swing states

At a time Republicans would normally rally behind their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump is facing continued resistance from GOP donors, grass-roots activists and other party loyalists in many of the battleground states he needs to win the White House.

Questioning his electability and doubting his convictions, they have vowed to expend their energies on races other than the presidential campaign.

“Everybody I know has their ‘I would rather,’” said Laura Carno, a conservative activist in Colorado Springs, Colo., who regards state and congressional contests as a higher priority than seeing the Manhattan business mogul and reality TV star in the White House.

Trump, lacking the long-term relationships and campaign infrastructure of previous GOP nominees, must rely on state parties, their voter contacts and the phone-bank and door-knocking support they muster to bolster what has largely been a Twitter- and national-media-driven campaign.

“That’s where the workers come from,” said former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who worked for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the primaries and is not ready to embrace Trump. “They do that grunty work that most people don’t want to do. They’re the ones having cold pizza and Diet Coke for breakfast because they were out late doing a [mail] drop the night before.”

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Clinton campaign raises the pressure on Trump on taxes, questions how much he pays

Hillary Clinton’s campaign seems to think they have a winning issue when it comes to Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax return. Here’s a tweet from her campaign chairman on Monday.

Trump has refused to release his taxes because he says he’s in the midst of an IRS audit. He also declined to reveal his tax rate, telling ABC’s “Good Morning America” that it’s “none of your business.”

The attack from the Clinton campaign recalls the pummelling dished out by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) when Republican Mitt Romney didn’t release some of his tax returns during the 2012 election. Reid claimed Romney didn’t pay any taxes for several years, a statement that turned out to be false.

It also comes as Clinton is under pressure to unveil some documentation of her own. Her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, has called on Clinton to release transcipts of paid speeches she delivered on Wall Street.

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Former Trump girlfriend attacks the New York Times for ‘hit piece’

A former girlfriend of Donald Trump’s accused the New York Times on Monday of misrepresenting her experience with Trump and turning her story into a “hit piece.”

“They spun it to where it appeared negative,” former swimsuit model Rowanne Brewer Lane said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.” “I did not have a negative experience with Donald Trump.”

The newspaper used Lane’s anecdote about meeting Trump in 1990 at a pool party as an example of how he mistreats women. According to the article, Trump asked Lane to put on a swimsuit after just having met her.

But Lane said Trump always acted “gracious” around her and attacked the newspaper for spinning the account in a negative light.

“Obviously they feel like that they need to do something to make him look bad or go along with their article,” she said.

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Donald Trump fires back at British leaders for calling him ‘stupid,’ ‘ignorant’

Donald Trump warned Monday of a rough relationship between a potential Trump presidency and Britain’s prime minister due to the U.K. leader’s statement that the GOP candidate’s views on Muslims were “stupid,” “divisive” and “wrong.”

Prime Minister David Cameron accused Trump in December of dividing the American people and complicating relations with countries such as Britain. But Trump fired back at Cameron on Monday during an interview that aired on ITV News’ “Good Morning Britain.”

“Looks like we’re not going to have a very good relationship,” Trump told ITV News’ Piers Morgan in New York. “I hope to have a good relationship with him, but it sounds like he’s not willing to address the problem either.”

The presumptive GOP nominee told Morgan that he believes he can unify the American people.

Trump also called London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, “very rude” in his criticism of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim travel to the United States. Khan called Trump’s views on Islam “ignorant.”

“Tell him I will remember those statements,” he said. “They’re very nasty statements.”

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What a post-Trump Republican Party might look like

Donald Trump speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in his office at Trump Tower in New York on May 10.
(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

It’s a paradox that’s even more divisive in politics than in sports: the notion of losing now to win later.

But to some conservative reformers, Donald Trump’s emergence as the party’s standard-bearer is an opportunity to do just that: remake a Republican Party that has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.

“It’s important that he lose badly,” said Peter Wehner, who served in three Republican presidential administrations, including a senior policy position in the George W. Bush White House. “This has to be a repudiation of Trump and Trumpism.”

The deep schism in the Republican Party over Trump’s likely nomination has split conservatives over what could or should come next. Some hope that Trump will prove to be a populist aberration and that the party will rebound to a more traditional brand of conservatism. Others expect him to win in November and fundamentally change the GOP.

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Where’s Cleveland? Some California politicians are skipping the Republican National Convention

Rep. Duncan Hunter didn’t want to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention for Donald Trump. And he doesn’t plan to go to Cleveland.

“I’m not into politics,” said Hunter, who lives in Alpine. “If he calls and says I really want you to go there and make a speech or something, then sure, I’ll fly in for that day and then leave immediately back to San Diego.”

Hunter said his staff thought that given he was one of the first members of Congress to back Trump, being a delegate would be a good idea. His aides recommended him to the Trump campaign without asking, but Hunter said he planned to ask an alternate delegate to go in his place.

“I was kind of taken aback when I saw I was on the list,” he said. “My guys put me on and they shouldn’t have.”

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