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Story highlights

The Republican presidential front-runner has a long history of positive comments about Democrats

Some GOP presidential candidates are now calling Trump a gift to Clinton

(CNN) —  

In the 1990s, Hillary Clinton claimed there a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against herself and her husband.

Now, some say Clinton might be benefiting herself from a conspiracy that would get her elected president – this time driven by Donald Trump.

The Republican presidential front-runner has a long history of positive comments about Democrats – he was one himself earlier in his life, he’s said – and Clinton specifically.

He’s donated to Democrats. The Clintons attended Trump’s wedding. Their daughters – Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump – are friends.

“I just like her,” Trump said before. “I like her and I like her husband.”

Some GOP presidential candidates are now calling Trump – who’s created a firestorm by proposing to ban Muslims from entering the United States – a gift to Clinton.

Republican rival Carly Fiorina tweeted: “Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton’s Christmas gift wrapped up under a tree.”

Trump revived talk Tuesday of an independent run when he highlighted on Twitter a USA Today/Suffolk University poll that shows 68% of his supporters would back him, rather than the GOP nominee. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush responded by saying Trump would only be helping Clinton by splitting the conservative vote.

Bush tweeted: “Maybe Donald negotiated a deal with his buddy @HillaryClinton. Continuing this path will put her in the White House.”