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Donald Trump: "I actually don't think" GOP has to unite

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's "not ready" to back presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, and the two former Bush presidents will not be endorsing the billionaire
How can Donald Trump unite the fractured GOP? 03:24

Donald Trump doesn't think it's necessary for the Republican party to be unified behind his presumptive nomination, suggesting that a win in the general election will be based at least in part with support from Democrats.

"We wanna bring the party together," Trump told ABC News in a Sunday interview. "Does the party have to be together? Does it have to be unified? I'm very different than everybody else -- perhaps that's ever run for office. I actually don't think so."

"I think it would be better if it were unified," he added. "I think it would be-- there would be something good about it. But I don't think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense."

Trump appears to be banking, at least partially, on some votes from Bernie Sanders supporters who would desert the Democratic party in November if Clinton becomes their nominee.

Asked how he plans to win the general election without a unified GOP behind him, Trump responded: "I think I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna get millions of people from the Democrats. I'm gonna get Bernie people to vote, because they like me on trade."

Of Sanders, Trump commended the Vermont senator as a man who "knows trade."

"The outside trade has been horrible for this country, and he understands that," Trump said. "But he can't do anything about it. I can."

The billionaire's comments come just days after Republican leadership seemed torn asunder on the issue of Trump's status as presumptive nominee.

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was simply "not ready" to back Trump's presidential bid, but that he was holding out hope for the blustering New Yorker to "do more to unify the party."

Trump, Ryan, and other GOP leaders are scheduled to meet this week on Capitol Hill to discuss the future of the party -- a meeting announced by Ryan's office just a day after the House speaker declared he couldn't yet support the presumptive nominee.

Trump previewed the Washington, D.C. gathering in the same interview: "I'm gonna say, 'Look, this is what the people want," he told ABC.

Of Ryan's comments, Trump said, "I just don't understand why he didn't-- you know, most people have come out in favor. We've gotten tremendous endorsements over the last short period of time."

In another interview with NBC News Sunday, Trump said Ryan's hesitance to endorse caught him by surprise.

"I like Paul Ryan. I think he's a very good guy. He called me three weeks ago, and he was so supportive. It was amazing. And I never thought a thing like this. I got blindsided by this," Trump said. "All of a sudden, he gets on and he does this number."

Trump's convention manager, Paul Manafort, took a softer tact regarding the unification of the Republican party, acknowledging that it was "unrealistic" to have expected the GOP to come together immediately after such a tumultuous primary process.

"Washington was in a little bit of an uncertain phase," Manafort said on Fox News Sunday. "But it's a healing process that will happen over time."

"We have plenty of time to put the party together," he added. "And I think you're going to see a successful, united party in Cleveland."

Still, Trump's policy positions remain a source of contention for some in the GOP.

During his Sunday interview with ABC, Trump admitted that his stance on the minimum wage had shifted from his earlier promise that he would not hike up the federal minimum rate.

"I think people have to get more," Trump said of the current $7.25 hourly wage -- a position he conceded as "not a very Republican" one.

"Sure, it's a change," he said. "I'm allowed to change. You need flexibility."

Later in the interview, Trump also seemed to dial back his earlier policy stance that he would not raise taxes on the wealthy.

"They will go up a little bit," Trump told ABC, contradicting his current tax plan. Trump's proposals as they stand now, according to the Tax Policy Center, would effectively cut income tax rates by approximately 7.2 percent for the wealthiest 20 percent of Americans. His current plan would also see federal income rates drop by 12.5 percent for the top 1 percent of income-earners.

But Trump predicted that his tax policy would eventually hike up taxes on the rich, explaining that his proposals would change "by the time it gets negotiated" (and presumably passed through Congress).

"In my plan they're going down," he added. "But by the time it's negotiated, they'll go up. Look, what I'm negotiating with the Democrats, I'm putting in a plan. I'm putting in my optimum plan."

"I like to have my cards on the table. We're gonna submit the optimum. That's what I'd like to get and we'll fight for it," he said. "But from a practical standpoint, it's gonna get renegotiated. And in my opinion, the taxes for the rich will go up somewhat."

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