How Donald Trump is trying to make nice with GOP leaders

Paul Manafort, the convention manager for GOP front-runner Donald Trump's campaign, said Sunday that Trump is beginning to unify the Republican party behind his candidacy.

"We've got a series of meetings that we're planning starting after Tuesday, after the Indiana primary when we believe everybody in the country will recognize that Donald Trump will be the nominee of the party and that that nomination will be clear by certainly California," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "And as a result, the whole strategy of Ted Cruz of a second ballot [at the convention] will have been rendered not true."

In another sign Trump's team is working to ease the tensions in the Republican Party and make nice with party leaders, Manafort said Trump will help the Republican National Committee and the party committees to raise money for down-ballot races.

"Once he is the nominee of the Republican Party, he has further responsibilities besides his own candidacy where he is the head of the ticket and where he is committed to making sure that Nancy Pelosi is never Speaker of the House again and that Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer remain in the minority of the Senate," he said, adding that he will "work with leaders of the Republican Party and various committees to help raise money for them as part of the overall ticket."

Will the business mogul, who rails on other candidates for taking money that makes them beholden to donors, impose restrictions on the kind of money he'll accept from donors in a general election? Manafort said that issue hadn't been "dealt with" yet.

"Certainly if he is going to be getting money from donors as a general election candidate, there are limitations," he said. "But we haven't dealt with that issue yet."

Asked about Trump's assertion that his vice presidential running mate would need to be someone who can help him with governing, Manafort said that as president, Trump would balance his "outside" persona with the need for a team with some Washington experience.

"Well I think he views himself as the outside candidate and his connection with the American people has been that he's not one of the people who messed up the system," Manafort said of Trump. "He will not be restricted by the limitations of Washington, yet he also recognizes that to implement that vision, he will need the help of other people."

Manafort also defended himself against claims that he's a "Washington lobbyist," telling moderator John Dickerson that he hasn't lobbied in Washington in two decades.

Speaking about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's assertion that Trump is representative of the Washington establishment, Manafort said Cruz's campaign is the one using establishment tactics.

"Ted Cruz, besides being very unpopular in Washington, is the one running a conventional campaign," he said. "He's the one trying to create alliances like you would see in Washington with the other candidates running for office and then he repudiates his own alliances."

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.