Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is garnering more attention than it was ever designed to receive. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the Trump campaign is losing key figures, suggesting that Donald Trump is starting to struggle with the pressures of being the presumptive nominee of a major political party. According to Politico, Donald Trump has fired a top aide within his campaign, with the camp announcing that it has parted ways with its national political director, Rick Wiley.
Rick Wiley is a name largely considered to be responsible for generating widespread appeal around the Trump campaign, as a high-profile hire by Paul Manafort, a senior GOP figure that Trump brought onboard in order to professionalize his campaign in preparation for the general election.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) May 26, 2016
However, according to Bloomberg, both Paul Manafort and Rick Wiley have found themselves clashing with Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager. It’s a clash of personalities that has ultimately led to the firing of one of Donald Trump’s top aides, Rick Wiley. However, it still remains unclear as to whether Donald Trump himself had a say in the firing of Wiley or the decision was taken by Lewandowski, responsible for the day-to-day running of Trump’s campaign.
Internal sources within the Trump campaign are claiming the clash comes down to different layers being applied to the campaign staff. Donald Trump is widely believed to have built upon his team for each state that he’s taken on in the Republican primary process, with Karen Giorno, a well-known ally of Lewandowski, brought in to run Trump’s campaign during the GOP primary in Florida. However, as a new face, she clashed with many of the campaign’s older faces, including Rick Wiley, who found himself falling victim to the scuffle.
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Despite reports coming from within the campaign, the official line from Donald Trump’s campaign team is a little different. They’ve suggested that Rick Wiley wasn’t intended to be a permanent hire for the campaign, saying his departure was imminent, but thanking Wiley for his service.
In a statement, the Trump campaign said, “Rick Wiley was hired on a short-term basis as a consultant until the campaign was running full steam. It is now doing better than ever, we are leading in the polls, and we have many exciting events ready to go, far ahead of schedule while Hillary continues her long, boring quest against Bernie”.
Wiley’s splinter away from the Trump campaign is largely believed to have arisen when as aforementioned, Karen Giorno was brought in to manage the campaign in Florida, and she ultimately succeeded in stealing the state from Marco Rubio. However, sources within Donald Trump’s campaign say that for weeks, Rick Wiley had been making appointments with Republicans in Florida in an attempt to essentially build a new campaign from scratch, while refusing to even talk to Giorno.
Such was the gravitas of this splintering within the Trump campaign that Donald Trump himself started to notice the problem, reportedly asking Karen Giorno to “Tell me what’s wrong?”. Following that phone call, Donald Trump is believed to have sided with Giorno, which ultimately led to the firing of Rick Wiley. Karen Giorno is widely believed to be incredibly loyal to Donald Trump, as he is loyal to her as a key member of his team.
The Donald Trump campaign is sure to face many more fractures before it reaches the general election later this year, but whether it survives those fractures remains to be seen.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]