Trump campaign poaches Koch staffers: report
© Greg Nash

The Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE campaign began courting top staffers with the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity late last year, in order to bolster its ground game ahead of big primary nights in March, according to BuzzFeed News.

The billionaire businessman’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is a former AFP state director whose intricate knowledge of New Hampshire paid dividends in that primary.


One top AFP staffer in a March primary state said he was approached by Lewandowski, who told him Trump “was for real. He’s going all the way.”

“Anecdotally, I’d say a lot of people have been approached,” another source close to the group told BuzzFeed. “It’s not surprising. The staff is the best trained and most experienced.”

BuzzFeed said the recruitment effort failed in several states, but the campaign was able to lure some people, especially those who had previous worked for the group but had moved on.

The Trump campaign’s ground game was criticized after an underwhelming finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Trump admitted at the time that his campaign “could have done much better with the ground game.”