Trump campaign begins more Washington outreach

Story highlights

  • The meetings will be with lawmakers who have endorsed or are "interested" in Trump
  • It a dual-track strategy recently charted by the Trump campaign

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's campaign is starting a series of congressional outreach meetings beginning Thursday in Washington, campaign and Hill sources said.

The meetings, to be led by campaign senior adviser Ed Brookover, will be with lawmakers who have endorsed or are "interested" in Trump, congressional sources said. Trump will not be in attendance.
Brookover said the campaign intends for this to the first of a series of regular meetings when the House is in session.
    Republican Reps. Tom Marino and Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, both of whom have endorsed Trump, told CNN they expect to hear about the billionaire businessman's strategy for upcoming primary states.
    The meeting continues a dual-track strategy recently charted by the Trump campaign of attacking the Washington and Republican Party insiders while trying to get better at an inside game that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been dominating.
    Surrounded by his family Tuesday night at a CNN Town Hall moderated by Anderson Cooper, Trump railed against the Republican Party's nominating rules.
    "I know the rules very well, but I know that it's stacked against me by the establishment," Trump said, calling the delegate fight with Cruz "shenanigans."
    Trump recently overhauled his campaign staff, placing a greater focus on the delegate battles and bringing on 1976 Republican convention veteran Paul Manafort.
    Asked about Trump's comments Tuesday night that the Republican National Committee does not want him to win, Marino told CNN, "I think the establishment has made that very clear they don't want him to win."
    "I'm getting people from doctors, lawyers -- and I don't mean facetious -- but butchers, bakers and candlestick makers that are saying enough of D.C., enough of the establishment, enough of anybody who has been here for more than 10 years, or eight years." Pressed on the RNC specifically, Marino said he hasn't heard "from anyone specifically" at the RNC, but then said, "not that they would talk to me."
    Barletta told CNN, "The establishment -- I'm not saying the RNC -- I'm saying the establishment here in Washington has done everything it can to try and stop Donald Trump. Rather than putting their effort into trying to stop him, they should be trying to understand why it's happening."
    Barletta noted that he and Marino were elected to Congress in 2010 when people were saying that Washington wasn't listening.
    "Now the establishment is saying not only are we not listening, but your vote doesn't count either," Barletta said, adding, "I think this would be disastrous for our party if we didn't rally around the front-runner. If this was Marco Rubio, I think there would be a call that this election is over and let's now get behind the front-runner, and it's just angering people even more."