If you've been wondering why Donald Trump finally decided to throw his hat into the presidential race after years of simply threatening to do so, we may now know why.
According to a report in the Washington Post, before announcing his run Trump had a phone call with Bill Clinton who encouraged him to "play a bigger role" in the Republican Party. What better way to play a bigger role than to run for president?
Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates of both men.
Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.
Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.
Trump has certainly risen to the occasion. Not only is he on stage tonight, he'll be center stage as the highest polling candidate.
It should be noted Trump has a long political and philanthropic history with the Clintons, which is odd considering he'd ultimately take on Hillary in the general election if he can get through the primary. Trump has donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation and over the years has directly contributed to Hillary Clinton's political campaigns. From POLITICO:
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former New York senator who had some say over policy that could have impacted Trump’s vast business dealings, received donations from both him and son Donald Trump Jr. on separate occasions in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to state and federal disclosure records.
Trump has also been generous with the Clinton Foundation, donating at least $100,000, according to the non-profit.
In another sign of their closeness, Clinton attended Trump’s 2005 wedding to current wife Melania Knauss at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, along with the likes of Katie Couric, Billy Joel and then-“American Idol” judge Simon Cowell. (According to People, Clinton had front-pew seating. Though Bill missed the ceremony itself, he did show up to the reception.)
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