From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Their party in crisis, Republicans’ frustration with Donald Trump reached new heights on Wednesday as GOP leaders scrambled to persuade the presidential nominee to abandon divisive tactics that have led to sinking poll numbers and low morale.
Party chairman Reince Priebus appealed to the New York billionaire’s adult children to help.
Priebus joined a handful of high-profile Trump allies in considering whether to confront the candidate directly following a series of startling stances and statements with Election Day quickly approaching. Trump has exposed deepening party divisions by refusing to endorse GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election and continuing to criticize the family of a slain U.S. soldier.
An official with direct knowledge of Priebus’ thinking was granted anonymity to discuss internal strategy after one of the most tumultuous weeks of Trump’s presidential campaign.
Yet the most powerful Republicans in Washington and New York’s Trump Tower concede things will not change unless Trump wants them to.
“The candidate is in control of his campaign,” campaign chairman Paul Manafort told the Fox News Network Wednesday afternoon. “And I’m in control of doing the things that he wants me to do in the campaign.”
Priebus, a close friend of Ryan, is deeply irritated by Trump’s recent actions and his unwillingness to accept guidance from senior advisers. The party chairman and the Trump confidants, as well as numerous GOP lawmakers, have been particularly irked by the candidate’s repeated criticism of an American Muslim family whose son, a U.S. Army captain, was killed in Iraq.
“I would say in the last couple of weeks, he has been remarkably underperforming …