U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has fired his national political director after six weeks on the job, campaign sources said on Wednesday.
Political director Rick Wiley was part of the crew brought on by Paul Manafort to make Donald Trump legit and establishment-friendly. There have been several such rebranding efforts for the Donald in the last many weeks, all of them huge flops as the candidate continues to China Shop Bull his way through everything.
A Trump campaign source with knowledge of the decision told NBC News that Wiley was largely uncommunicative with field staff that were in place long before he was hired. “He never really got the read for this campaign,” the source said, referencing the campaign’s culture.
Trump told staffers and supporters gathered backstage before a campaign rally in California on Wednesday that Wiley “should be fired” for his handling of a fundraising deal with the Republican National Committee, according to the sources.
The RNC fundraising agreement comprised 11 states but not Nevada, where Republicans in the state are angling for key victories in the November elections. Three sources confirmed Trump said Wiley should be fired after Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald told Trump that Wiley was responsible for leaving Nevada out of the deal.
McDonald did not return calls seeking comment. Wiley did not respond to emails, text messages and phone calls seeking comment.
The step comes as the latest in a tug of war between Trump’s original campaign team, including press secretary Hope Hicks and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and a group of professionals he brought in later to shore up support from more traditional corners of the Republican Party.
The new arrivals, led by veteran strategist Paul Manafort, whom Trump hired in late March, have urged Trump to tone down some of his most provocative positions, such as his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States.
But Trump reprimanded Manafort, according to two sources familiar with the conversation, after Manafort told a gathering of RNC members at an April meeting in Florida that Trump was only “acting” when describing his proposed Muslim ban or his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Manafort hired Wiley on April 13.
A statement issued by the Trump campaign said Wiley had been hired on a “short-term basis as a consultant until the campaign was running full steam” and it thanked him for “for helping us during this transition period.”
Manafort did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
TRUMP VS. SANDERS DEBATE?
Chances are likely slim, but what about a Donald Trump-Bernie Sanders debate heading into the crucial June 7 California primary?
In the latest twist to the 2016 White House race, Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders independently agreed Wednesday night to debate each other.
That possibility surfaced Wednesday, even if in a jocular tone, in an indirect exchange between the Republican billionaire real estate mogul and the senator who Hillary Clinton hasn’t been able to bump from the Democratic presidential sweepstakes.
On ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Trump said he enjoyed watching Clinton’s increasingly heated sparring with Sanders.
“I had no idea it was going to be so nasty,” said Trump, who said he’d be happy to engage Sanders in a one-on-one debate — as long as significant money goes to charity.
Sanders said on Twitter he’d welcome that. “Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary.”