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Donald Trump Assures Hannity: I Won’t Run As An Independent – Unless I Do

Reported by Ellen - April 15, 2011 -

Sean Hannity has been just a little less enthused about Donald Trump lately ever since he announced that he’d “probably” run as an independent if he didn’t get the Republican nomination – and thereby presumably ensure an Obama win in 2012. But last night, The Donald assured Hannity that wouldn’t happen – well, unless it does. Trump said, “I would consider running as an independent… but unless I thought I could win, really win, as an independent, I would not do that.” Of course, most people would say that running as an independent is pretty much a guarantee of losing. But not Mr. Birth-Certificate-Conspiracy-A-Go-Go. Trump uttered a few other gems of clarity and precision that I think may pretty much guarantee that he won’t get that nomination or win as an independent. UPDATED

Saying he had been asked in a prior interview what he'd do if he didn't win the nomination, Trump claimed he had said he'd think about running as an independent. But that was "before the new polls came out that showed me leading… I said, ‘Yes, I would consider running as an independent.’”

For the record, Trump told the Wall Street Journal,

“The concern is if I don’t win [the GOP primary] will I run as an independent, and I think the answer is probably yes.” Mr. Trump said he thought he “could possibly win as an independent,” adding, “I’m not doing it for any other reason. I like winning.”

But three days later, Trump now told Hannity, “Unless I thought I could win as an independent, I wouldn’t do that because if I lost, I’d get a tremendous amount of votes and I would take ‘em all from the Republican party, which would be terrible. So unless I thought I could win, really win, as an independent, I would not do that.”

So to recap: Trump first said he’d “probably” run as an independent if he didn’t get the nomination but that was before he found out how well he’s doing in the polls. So now that he knows he's doing well, he’ll only run if he really thinks he can win.

In the same vein of clarity and precision, Trump announced, “I get along with everybody – I also have plenty of enemies.”

He also tried to explain away his prior support for Democratic candidates by saying, “I’m in New York… (Republicans) don’t even think about New York.”

Well, except for Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg (his first two terms) - but I digress.

“Everyone’s Democratic,” Trump nevertheless asserted. “So what am I gonna do, contribute to Republicans? …I’m not stupid, am I going to contribute to a Republican for my whole life when they run against some Democrat and the most they can get is 1% of the vote?”

Of course, that doesn’t explain his support for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), which Hannity cited, but he didn’t press the point.

UPDATE: OpenSecrets.org notes that Trump donated to such other non-NY or NJ politicians as John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy. Most interestingly, OpenSecrets notes, "of the nearly $420,000 Trump has donated to committees, the largest recipient has been the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with $116,000 -- or more than one fourth of his total contributions to all party and political action committees."

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