President Donald Trump ousted Brad Parscale as manager of his campaign, replacing him with Bill Stepien as the president seeks to reverse a decline in the polls with less than four months before the November election.
“I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump campaign manager,” Trump said in a statement. “Brad Parscale, who has been with me for a very long time and has led our tremendous digital and data strategies, will remain in that role, while being a senior adviser to the campaign.”
Stepien, who formerly served as White House political director, was deputy to Parscale, the campaign manager since 2018. The move comes as Trump faces a recession, nationwide protests over racism and police brutality and more than 130,000 deaths from an unabated coronavirus pandemic.
Stepien was at the White House this week for multiple meetings, including with senior staff and planning discussions on the Republican convention, according to people familiar with the matter. Parscale was in White House meetings Wednesday.
Trump is lagging Democratic nominee Joe Biden in national and battleground state polls.
Parscale’s demotion comes a few weeks after Trump held a rally in Tulsa that was sparsely attended. In the run-up to the rally, Parscale tweeted that 1 million people requested tickets to attend, a metric Trump later repeated in a Fox News interview.
Parscale had been under fire for months amid the sagging polls and complaints from Republicans that the campaign is paying him too much. The campaign and affiliated organizations have paid millions of dollars to ad-buying, data, and consulting firms owned by Parscale, according to public documents compiled by a watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
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