Donald Trump’s apparent softening on his immigration position has many observers noting that his current talking points mirror many of his former Republican opponents, who he slammed as being soft on immigration. So, what caused this changed of heart? Was there an adviser who started this conversation of moving away from a humane deportation force? His new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, once drafted a memo in support of offering a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Well, according to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, it was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Claude Brodesser-Akner of New Jersey’s Star-Ledger had more on the publication’s sit down with the former mayor last week:
Donald Trump's apparent pivot away from his calls for mass deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants is partially the result of prodding by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
And, Giuliani says, even more Christie-inspired changes to Trump's immigration stance will be forthcoming, like his call for tracking immigrant visas like Fedex packages, and using the E-Verify system to reduce illegal labor.
In an interview with NJ Advance Media on Thursday, Giuliani, a top adviser to the Republican presidential nominee, said Trump's recent reversal on immigration policy came after his inner circle for several weeks suggested a more nuanced, practical, and humane approach in dealing with the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Asked if Christie was responsible for Trump's softening approach to immigration, the former mayor responded: "The answer to that question is yes."
Christie, Giuliani said, "is not the only one" counseling a more moderate stance on those who immigrated illegally, "but he is of great value to him."
On ABC News’ This Week on Sunday, guest host Martha Raddatz asked Christie about the Giuliani’s comments regarding him being the main man concerning shifting Trump away from his hardline stance on immigration. Christie refused to answer; saying the advice he gives to Donald is for him alone. So, should we take that as confirmation?
Listen Martha, I ran for president as your know, I ran for governor twice and I’ve been the governor for seven years. I find that the people who are my best advisers are the people who are smart enough to give me really good advice, and smart enough to keep their mouth shut about what advice they give me. And so, if I want advisers that way, that’s the kind of adviser, I’m going to be to Donald Trump. I’ve said consistently, the advice I give to Donald is to Donald. And that’s based upon our friendship of the last 14 years…Rudy can talk about whatever he wants to talk about. He’s my friend. I like him a lot, and respect him, but I don’t talk about the advice I give to Donald Trump.
Again, all will be revealed, or will continue to be muddled, during his speech on immigration tomorrow.