On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that surrogates for GOP front-runner Donald Trump told the Republican Party that the real estate mogul has only been “projecting an image” to build a voter base and is now set to “evolve” in preparation for a possible run against Hillary Clinton. News of the meeting caused many to accuse Trump of “lying” to voters in order to achieve his goals.
According to the AP, the message was delivered behind closed doors in a private meeting. Details of the meeting were also made known the same day Trump said he had adopted the liberal view of North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom law” and would raise taxes on the wealthy, prompting many to question his conservative “creds.”
“When he’s out on stage,” said senior aide Paul Manafort, “when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose.” He went on to say that “you’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy.”
Writing at the Daily Wire, former Breitbart.com editor Ben Shapiro called Trump a liar, adding that his opponents have “long claimed as much.” He wasn’t finished, accusing Trump of taking his supporters “for a ride.”
“Trump isn’t trustworthy, and he never has been,” Shapiro added. “Now he’s using that untrustworthiness as a selling point. That’s clever – it’s worked throughout the campaign actually, since he’s used his corrupt quasi-bribery of public officials as evidence that he knows how to work the system but can’t be bought himself. But it also demonstrates that all those who thought Trump authentic got played. Either that or those who think that Trump will fulfill promises to change now are getting played.”
A post at the pro-Cruz Right Scoop was even more harsh, saying Trump is “no more authentic than a fake $20 bill.” The blog went on to accuse Trump of saying whatever he needs to say in order to win.
The AP said it had obtained a recording of the meeting, but did not post audio of the recording. Some GOP officials welcomed news of Trump’s planned change, but others said it would present doubts about his authenticity, the AP added. Trump, however, doesn’t seem to quite ready to change.
“I just don’t know if I want to do it yet,” he said during a campaign rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. “At some point, I’m going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored,” he added.