Donald Trump speaking at an event in Indiana.
Photograph by JEWEL SAMAD AFP/Getty Images

Talk about a big shift.

By Ben Geier
May 5, 2016

Donald Trump made no secret in the Republican primary of his distaste for hedge funds — claiming at one point that “hedge fund guys” were “getting away with murder” and were “paying nothing” in taxes.

Now, though, Trump has brought on hedge fund CEO Steven Mnuchin to be his national finance chairman for the upcoming general election.

Mnuchin is the chairman and CEO of Dune Capital Management LP and a former partner at Goldman Sachs.

He is also, it should be noted, a major donor to Democratic candidates. Reuters notes that Mnuchin has given $71,000 to Democrats and their committees since 1998, compared with $37,000 to Republicans.

Trump, though, is also a former big-time Democratic donor — a fact Ted Cruz tried to use, unsuccessfully, to convince Republican voters to withhold their support for the business man.

Trump’s pivot on hedge funds, though, is noteworthy. It offers further proof that Trump’s campaign decisions, including staffing, will be governed by a narrow focus on winning, as he is so fond of saying, rather than the pursuit of any kind of ideological purity or consistency.

It also marks a clear shift from the “self-financed” approach Trump used to his advantage in the primary campaign. Reuters notes that the GOP will be relying on Trump to raise money not just for his own contest but for the myriad down-ballot races the party needs to win to maintain control of Congress.

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