Days after Donald Trump called members of the Club for Growth "stupid" and "extortionists," the head of the free-enterprise advocacy group called the GOP front-runner "challenged" when it comes to the truth.
In comments Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Trump accused the Club for Growth of coming out against his candidacy, when he refused to give the group $1 million.
"We all know how challenged Donald Trump is with the truth," Club for Growth President David McIntosh told "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "The reality is, he invited me to his office, and said, 'What are you doing? What can I do to help?'"
"[Trump] was telling me he's changed," continued McIntosh, a congressman from Indiana from 1995-2001. McIntosh said New York real estate tycoon told him that Trump is "more free trade" than he used to be and he doesn't want to raise taxes. "Well, maybe the guy is a conservative," McIntosh said he thought. "[It] turns out he's not."
McIntosh said he did solicit money from Trump to elect "good candidates" for office. "We did send him a letter, and never heard back from him."
In the CNBC interview last week, Trump called out the Club for Growth: "These stupid people, like Club for Growth. They come to my office ask for $1 million and I say for what? They said it's, this and that, and they gave me an explanation which didn't make any sense. They wrote me a letter and asked for a million dollars. I very nicely said no. Then all of a sudden they became hostile and they're doing ads all over the place. They are extortionists. They are terrible people."
Club for Growth would still be against Trump even if the candidate did provide money, McIntosh said Tuesday. "I told him that in the meeting. I don't agree with you on trade and taxes. If you still want to send us money, you can."
McIntosh said the group analyzed Trump's public comments over the years about public policy. "Over 10 [or] 12 years, he's consistently been for a big government solution. He hates the idea of free trade. He thinks that he can negotiate better trade agreements. And if not, he'll slap tariffs on."