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Secret memo reveals Trump has been carrying out GOP campaign strategies since Day One

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President Donald Trump is often seen as a political outsider guided by impulse and instinct, or as some sort of genius playing multidimensional chess — but the reality is, he might just be running a standard Republican strategy.

A Republican operative named Doug Davenport says he was paid by Trump to write a strategy memo in 2014, ahead of his improbable presidential run, and author Allen Sirkin shared the document with some excerpts published by Vice.

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“Trump is often executing plays written by ordinary Republican political operatives,” wrote Sirkin, “and has been doing so competently for longer than either those who prefer to think of him as a genius or those who think of him as simply senile might like to admit.”

Davenport, a Washington, D.C. strategist who previously worked for Paul Manafort’s lobbying firm, shared the memo with Sirkin and his co-author Aaron Short for their oral history, “The Method to the Madness: Donald Trump’s Ascent as Told by Those Who Were Hired, Fired, Inspired.”

“You won’t be campaigning one-on-one at Pizza Ranches or at town halls that have a handful of seniors in attendance,” Davenport advised Trump, “rather you will pack auditoriums with enthusiasts and the curious who will witness not a speech but a production about American greatness capped with a message of Leadership from Donald Trump.”

That sounds a lot like Trump’s campaign rallies from the start of his campaign through his presidency, but Davenport warned the longshot bid for the White House did not come without risk.

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“A long and extracted Presidential Nomination Process is risky to both to the [sic] Trump political brand and the Trump business brand. But the upside is huge,” the memo reads. “The time is now — if you are serious about this — it is your last window to do it. BUT, you must have the right messages, the right team around you and align yourself with the right players overall. AND, you must show people you are deadly serious and focused on this race and it is by no means some grand media stunt.”

The White House declined comment on the memo, which Trump recommended to campaign aide Sam Nunberg in a handwritten note.

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“Sam-, I like Doug- His memo to me was great- Please set up another meeting- Thanks,” Trump told Nunberg.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump blames Ocasio-Cortez for two Democrats who were nearly barred from Israel

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President Donald Trump tweeted out Sunday that Democrats are ready to wage war against Israel because the prime minister followed his direction to ban Congresswomen from coming to the country.

Israel backed off after an uprising from both conservative and liberal groups, saying the purpose of any international visit should be to help educate, regardless of the support for the country.

"House Democrats want to take action against Israel because it is fighting back against two (maybe four) people that have said unthinkably bad things about it & the Israeli people. Dems have such disdain for Israel! What happened? AOC Plus 4 is the new face of the Democrat Party!" Trump announced.

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2020 Election

‘Part of me wanted to leave’: Lone attendee of Steve King town hall turns out to be a ‘hungover’ Democrat

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is being told to resign by members of his own party who are tired of his overt racism. While many Republicans might exhibit racist tendencies and make apologies for the president's racism, King says things out loud the GOP would just assume he keep quiet on. The true test, however, comes from King's own district and whether or not they're willing to reelect him in November.

The key revelation came at a recent townhall King held, where the only person who attended was a hungover Democrat. The Iowa Starting Line reported the pathetic event, where it seemed more members of the press were willing to show up than actual constituents.

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‘They love the meanest parts of him’: Conservative writer explains why evangelical Christians stick with Trump

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Ben Howe, a conservative writer and evangelical Christian who refuses to support Donald Trump, explained why fellow evangelicals continue to back the president despite his decidedly ungodly behavior.

Speaking with the Atlantic’s Emma Green about his new book The Immoral Majority, Howe — whose evangelical bona fides include attending pastor Jerry Falwell’s church as a kid — described evangelicals’ support for Trump, insisting “they love the meanest parts of him.”

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