Former President Bill Clinton encouraged Donald Trump to become more involved in GOP politics in a phone call a few weeks before the “Apprentice” star declared his presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported.
The Post said anonymous sources familiar with Trump’s side of the call described Clinton as being attentive and encouraging of Trump’s desire to wade deeper into politics, though a Clinton source said a 2016 bid was not formally discussed.
A Clinton spokesman confirmed to The Post the phone call happened in late May. In addition to the official confirmation, The Post relied on four anonymous Trump insiders and one unnamed Clinton employee, who said Clinton called Trump back after the real estate mogul had reached out to him.
The Post’s Robert Costa and Anne Gearan wrote:
The tone of the call was informal and Clinton never urged Trump to run, the four people said. Rather, they said, Clinton sounded curious about Trump’s moves toward a presidential bid and told Trump that he was striking a chord with frustrated conservatives and was a rising force on the right.
The Clinton employee, meanwhile, told The Post, “we can tell you that the presidential race was not discussed.”