May 15, 2020
Donald Trump Is Likely Being Conned By His Campaign Manager, Journalist Says

In a Friday piece for The Bulwark, journalist Jonathan V. Last accused Donald Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale, of running a con on the president.

According to Last, Parscale has convinced Trump that he has a "magical machine" that no one can understand but him.

"Creating the impression that the entire Trump campaign will rise or fall with an opaque digital operation is a way to make Parscale un-fireable," Last wrote, noting that the president's 2016 campaign relied on Trump's personality alone.

In contrast, Last claims that Trump's 2020 operation is "too sprawling, too micro-targeted, and too evanescent" to determine whether it's effective or not. The only gauge for its effectiveness, Last wrote, are the polls, which he said show presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with the most extensive, steadiest lead that a challenger has ever held over an incumbent.

"I'm sure Big Brad will tell the boss that without his Magical Internet Machine he'd be losing to Biden by even more right now. And for all I know, that's true."
"But I kind of suspect it's not," he added.
Unlike his 2016 campaign, Trump's new venture has leaned on figures he previously thought disposable, such as campaign managers. According to Last, if Trump keeps Parscale on the campaign even as he continues to trail Biden in the polls, it's a sign that the president no longer has the confidence to gain support from his voters on his own — as he did in 2016.

In this scenario, Last says Trump will be held hostage to "whatever sales pitch he bought from Parscale."

"It's a good reminder that inside every con man is a mark," Last concluded his piece.

Parscale, who was a digital marketing expert before he dove into politics, called Trump's 2020 operation a "Death Star," a reference to the massive, iconic Star Wars space station. As reported by The Guardian, Parscale claimed that the Trump campaign has an "enormous lead in cash" over Biden's campaign and suggested that it will topple the former vice president's bid for office.

Despite such threats, Biden has been leading Trump in recent months. In another sign that doesn't bode well for the president, Biden is neck and neck with Trump in the traditionally red state of Georgia. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the state by over five points. However, the close statewide elections in 2018 have fueled uncertainty, and political experts believe it could become a swing state in November.

Other recent polls show Trump with a slight lead over Biden in several battleground states.