Donald Trump opens the final week of July as the leader of the Republican field, yet again.
Here are the latest developments in the Trump Show:
Trump unfazed by controversy, still atop the polls
In the first national poll since Trump's dust-up with Sen. John McCain, there appears to be no real backlash for GOP voters. Trump leads the Republican field in a new CNN poll, grabbing 18 percent support with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rounding out the top three. With less than two weeks before the first debates, Trump has held a steady lead in the national polls for most of the month despite facing near daily criticism for his over-the-top rhetoric. In fact, Trump's support has gone up 6 points since a late-June CNN poll. Another NBC/Marist vote shows Trump surging to the top of the polls in New Hampshire and closing in on Walker's lead in Iowa.
RNC's Preibus politely asks GOP candidates not to wage third-party bid
RNC chairman Reince Preibus appears to have heard Trump's recent rumblings about a potential third-party run should he fail to secure the GOP nomination. This morning, Preibus appeared on NBC's "Today" to urge allegiance to the Party. “Our candidates should pledge not to run as a third-party candidate,” Priebus said, before insisting that all is well with the 16-candidate bonanza. “I think everyone understands that if Hillary Clinton is going to get beat, she is going to get beat by a Republican and most people that run for president run to win. If our candidates want to win, then they will have to run as a Republican.”
"They [the RNC leaders)] view me as an outsider, I guess. And now they're starting to view me not as an outsider, because I'm leading in all the polls, not just" CNN's Trump told Jake Tapper on Sunday. "And I think they have been really nice over the last few days."
Mike Huckabee says he's more Trump than Trump
Most of the other Republican presidential candidates are starved for attention with Trump hogging the spotlight for the better part of the summer and some, like former Texas Governor Rick Perry have seen their campaign become defined by opposition to Trump, while others like former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee try to out crazy Trump for the cameras. But Huckabee's also decided to glom onto Trump in hopes his poll number's will be elevated by the soaring rocket that is The Donald. On Fox News this weekend, Huckabee explicitly asked the conservative outlet to give him as much airtime as they give Trump. "Let me say this, if you put as much air in my ballon, not just you, but if all the media, will pump the air in my ballon, as has been pumped into Donald Trump's ballon, I'll be leading the pack," the former Fox News host complained. Huckabee argued that Trump "a lot of the things" Trump is saying "are things that, in many ways, I've been saying those for eight years, before he was a Republican."
In an earlier interview on the network, Huckabee compared Trump to a "drunken redneck" before asking if the billionaire can finish the many fights he's started
Trump sets his target on Scott Walker
“Finally, I can attack!” Trump told a fired up crowd this weekend in Iowa after a fundraiser for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker called Trump a "DumbDumb."
“Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster. And he was totally in favor of Common Core!”
Trump, who has made a habit lately of calling out critics' past fundraising appeals to the real-estate mogul, recalled a time when Walker gave him a “beautiful plaque” for a campaign donations before questioning if “Wisconsin paid for it.”
Trump says Hillary Clinton’s private email practice ’criminal’
“What she did is criminal.”
Trump called into CNN again, over the weekend, and slammed Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email as "far worse than what Gen. [David] Petraeus did, and he’s gone down in disgrace.”
"I don't see how she can run. Because if the prosecutors, who are all Democrats by the way — that's part of the problem with fairness here, they're all Democrats so they're protecting her. But if you had an impartial prosecutor and they were honorable — and maybe they are — we're gonna find out but what she's done is criminal," Trump argued without ever articulating what actions were allegedly illegal. “She’s been protected,” he told CNN's Jake Tapper. “It’s amazing to me.”