A communications adviser to Donald Trump on Thursday struggled to explain why the GOP nominee attacked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and praised former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for attacking Fox host Megyn Kelly.
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle asked Trump adviser Cliff Sims why the Republican presidential nominee went out of his way Wednesday to back Gingrich after the former speaker accused Kelly of being “obsessed with sex.”
“I’m not gonna get into that,” said Sims, who has begun hosting live-streams on Facebook for Trump TV. “One of the things he likes, people like about Donald Trump, is he stands up for himself, he stands up for his position, he stands up for his folks, he’s gonna stand up for America.”
Ruhle then moved on to another puzzling Trump move, asking why the GOP nominee chose to attack Bush on Wednesday, even though the former Florida governor withdrew from the Republican primary in February. Speaking about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Trump said “she has less energy than Jeb Bush.”
“You advise him, in terms of communications; I’ve never been involved in politics. Why is it a good idea with 24 hours ago to knock Jeb Bush?” she asked. Sims avoided the question, saying, “I’m telling you, we are absolutely killing it on the messaging front the last two days.”
Ruhle pressed Sims to answer her question a few more times, prompting him to eventually ask, “What’s the question?”
“He hasn’t taken a swing at Jeb Bush that I’ve seen in the last 24 hours,” he finally said. “I think he made the comparison between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush and said Hillary Clinton was low energy, I think that’s the point he’s trying to make.”
With just under two weeks left in the presidential campaign, Trump’s messaging has been confusing. On Wednesday, he appeared at the opening of his new hotel in Washington, D.C. Over the weekend, during a speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that was supposed to focus on policy, Trump pledged to sue all of the women who had come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.