Tracking the Roller Coaster Relationship of Reince Priebus and Donald Trump

Descending into the 2016 cycle


Mr. Trump officially announced his campaign for the presidency in a ceremony at his 68-story skyscraper, Trump Tower, in New York in 2015.

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Several years later, when Mr. Trump was again considering a presidential run, he consulted Mr. Priebus for his guidance. As chairman of the national committee, Mr. Priebus had the bureaucracy of the Republican establishment backing him up and lessons from an autopsy of the 2012 campaign in his head.

On June 16, 2015, the first day of Mr. Trump’s campaign, those lessons learned — that the party needed to persuade voters that Republicans were not narrow-minded and out of touch — were put in sharp contrast with Mr. Trump’s own message.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Mr. Trump said, calling for the construction of a border wall. He added, “They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Months later, after speculation that Mr. Priebus had tried to lecture the then-candidate over his anti-immigrant rhetoric, Mr. Trump flatly denied that any such type of conversation had ever happened. Mr. Priebus, he said, “knows better than to lecture me.”

He added, “We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general.”

Weathering the ups and downs of the campaign


Mr. Priebus at the Republican National Convention in 2016.

Eric Thayer for The New York Times

As party chairman, Mr. Priebus was expected to be a strategist for the Republican presidential nominee. He rode many of the waves of a campaign…

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