WASHINGTON - There may be much Republican hand-wringing over Donald Trump's presumptive nomination to face the Democratic candidate for the White House, but the boastful billionaire says he doesn't care, and it doesn't matter.
A growing chorus of senior Republican leaders have joined the "anyone but Trump movement," including 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the last two Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.
"Does it have to be unified?" Trump asked about the Republican Party.
"I'm very different than everybody else, perhaps, that's ever run for office. I actually don't think so," he told ABC's "This Week" in excerpts provided ahead of Sunday's broadcast. "I think it would be better if it were unified, 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."
A group of conservatives opposed to Trump's candidacy meanwhile announced it had launched a "formal effort" for an alternative candidate, though it stopped short of backing a contender from a third party.
"This is not just a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party; it is a battle for the future of our country," Conservatives Against Trump said in a statement.
"This week, Conservatives Against Trump launched a formal effort to identify an acceptable alternative candidate to run for president against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton." The race is still "wide open for a qualified conservative candidate," the group of activists said.
"We will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton; but we will vote." Trump, however, said he expected even some Democratic voters to throw their support behind him to win the general election. "I'm going to go out and I'm going to get millions of people from the Democrats," Trump said.
Hillary Clinton says she has been approached by a number of Republicans looking to back her White House campaign, rather than throw their weight behind their party's presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
Speaking to CBS's "Face the Nation" in an interview broadcast Sunday, Clinton said she was reaching across the aisle to Republicans unwilling to be associated with the billionaire's incendiary White House bid. "Obviously I'm reaching out to Democrats, Republicans, Independents, all voters who want a candidate who is running a campaign based on issues," said the 69-year-old former secretary of state.
"I am asking people to come join this campaign and I've had a lot of outreach on Republicans in the last days who say that they are interested in talking about that."
Trump has raised howls of protest within his own party with his harsh, free-wheeling speech and proposals ranging from banning Muslims from entering the United States to building a wall on the southern border to keep out Mexican migrants to slashing US funding for NATO so allies pay more.
The nation's top elected Republican official, House Speaker Paul Ryan, has refused to support the presumptive nominee, saying Trump has "work to do" to win over skeptics within his camp.
Several party elders - including the last two Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush - have refused outright to endorse the billionaire.
A group of conservatives opposed to Trump's candidacy meanwhile announced this weekend it had launched a "formal effort" to identify an alternative candidate, though it stopped short of backing a contender from a third party.
"I'm going to get Bernie (Sanders) people to vote, because they like me on trade," he added, referring to the Democratic candidate in an uphill fight against Hillary Clinton to clinch the party's nomination.
Donald Trump said on Sunday that taxes for the wealthy should go up but that his tax plans would likely be renegotiated with Congress should he win the US presidency.
"For the wealthy I think frankly it is going to go up and, you know what, it really should go up," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told NBC's "Meet the Press."
Trump said that he see his current tax plans, which would reduce taxes for the middle class and businesses and increase those for the wealthy, as a negotiating "floor" that may change in dealings with Congress.
However, he added, "when it comes time to negotiate, I feel less concerned with the rich than I do with the middle class."
Trump also said in the interview that he is in favor of an increase in the minimum wage. "I don't know how you live on $7.25 an hour," he said, but added that he would rather leave it to individual states to decide on the issue.