ABC’s Stephanopoulos Grills Trump Campaign Chairman Over Trump’s Claim Of A ‘Rigged Election’
Published with permission from Media Matters of America
From the August 4 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America :
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): In that Fox News poll, it also shows that almost 70 percent of the voters thought that those comments about the Khan family were out of bounds. Why not apologize?
PAUL MANAFORT: Well, I think Mr. Trump has paid the respect. It’s just nobody’s acknowledging it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he hasn’t apologized.
MANAFORT: What he said is that he respects and is totally sympathetic to the sacifices that family has made. And he’s talking about the son and he’s talking about the family. And, you know, beyond that I think it’s politics. I mean, the driving of what the right words are. He is appreciative of their efforts. But he receives them as part of something that’s a part of a bigger thing, which is the campaign and the issue of ISIS, and the issue of the mismanagement of foreign policy. That’s what he’s campaigning on. He’s not campaigning on the Khan family. He’s campaigning on the —
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, he’s hoping to move on without an apology?
MANAFORT: Well, no, he’s expressed his sympathy. He’s expressed his support for what the family is going through. I mean, it’s like the same thing we’re caught up in, what’s the difference between I support you and I endorse you? We quibble over words, but the sentiments are there. And I think the sentiments about what he feels towards that family and what they went through, he’s expressed. Just because he doesn’t say the words everyone wants, he said he is sorry for what they’ve gone through. But he keeps going back to the main issue and the main issue isn’t this family, it’s the main issue that caused the suffering of this family, which is the war in the Middle East, destabilization, and the policies of Obama and Clinton that caused them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the messages that Mr. Trump has been putting out the last few days, he warned several times that this election is going to be rigged. Is that a real concern? Is it responsibly suggesting that the outcome of this election may not be legitimate?
MANAFORT: I mean he’s concerned about several things. I mean he’s concerned about the coverage of the election, which is part of the election process.
STEPHANOPOULOS: His opponents say he’s gotten $2 billion in free media.
MANAFORT: But, for example, the two conventions, when you look at the analysis of the coverage of the two conventions, the Republican convention got 12 times more negative coverage than the Democratic convention.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s not a rigged election.
MANAFORT: But that rigs the process if the messaging is one-sided. If the message is taking their narrative from one side of the campaign, that affects the messaging absolutely. Now do we think that we can overcome that, yes, we do. But at the same time, it’s a real issue to him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And finally, you heard Jon Karl report on Reince Priebus, the chair of the RNC — he’s been a strong ally of Mr. Trump — is livid about his refusal to endorse Paul Ryan. Are we going to see an endorsement? Has he spoken with Mr. Priebus?
MANAFORT: Reince Priebus is a strong supporter of Donald Trump and a good friend and supporter of Paul Ryan and he’s been a bridge between the party and the campaign since Mr. Trump became the presumptive nominee in April. They’ve spoken several times in the last two days, they’re very good friends, we’re doing a lot of things together. You know, there’s a conflict within the Trump campaign. And we’ve sort of had a rule of not getting involved in primaries because it’s usually not a good situation for the presidential candidate. Of course, he’s going to work with Paul Ryan. Of course he’s tried to bridge the party together with Paul Ryan. But Ryan is also running against somebody who’s not going to win, but nonetheless is a strong supporter of Mr. Trump’s.
Screenshot via Good Morning America