Donald Trump, who has declared that employing a pollster would be a "waste" of money, has hired veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio, a person familiar with the hiring confirmed Monday evening.
The move marks a significant moment in Trump's campaign. Long after eschewing many traditional hiring practices, the presumptive GOP nominee has enlisted experienced operatives lately as he eyes a general election matchup with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
The person confirming the move did so on condition of anonymity. Trump's campaign and Fabrizio did not immediately comment. News of Fabrizio's hire was first reported by Politico.
While Trump often boasts about his public poll numbers, he opted for months to operate without his own pollster — setting him apart from top rivals who invested heavily in the ability to conduct customized surveys to learn about voter attitudes on various issues and across a broad spectrum of geographic areas.
Fabrizio has worked for numerous top Republicans, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). He polled for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's presidential campaign.
In an interview with NBC's "Meet The Press" last August, Trump said: "I don't have pollsters. I don't want to waste money on pollsters. I don't want to be unreal. I want to be me. I have to be me."
On Monday night, some Trump foes resurfaced some old tweets from when Fabrizio was Paul's pollster and he appeared to endorse or level criticism at Trump:
— Deport Trump (@MustDeportTrump) May 17, 2016
But more recently, Fabrizio has encouraged the mogul on social media, sometimes retweeting him.