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Brad Parscale steps aside from Trump campaign after police episode

By Josh Wingrove, Jennifer Jacobs and Justin Sink, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON - Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has stepped aside from his role in the campaign days after he was detained at his Florida home and taken to a hospital, a campaign official said Wednesday night.

Parscale was taken into custody Sunday after Fort Lauderdale police responded to a 911 call indicating he had barricaded himself inside the house and perhaps had fired a gun. The police said his wife told them that he had threatened to harm himself.

Video later released by the police showed Parscale eventually emerging, shirtless and barefoot. He was tackled by officers when he refused to get on the ground and was handcuffed and taken to a hospital.

Parscale's departure from the campaign was reported earlier by Politico.

He rose to prominence as digital director for Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, when he was credited with helping propel the Republican candidate to victory with an unorthodox use of data to target voters on social media.

Trump tapped him in 2018 to lead his campaign for reelection, but replaced him in July, after a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew sparse crowds despite Parscale's public assurance that hundreds of thousands of people had requested tickets. Parscale was replaced by his deputy, Bill Stepien, but remained as a senior official.

 

In May, the Lincoln Project - a group created by dissident Republicans to oppose Trump's reelection - created an online ad highlighting Parscale's personal wealth and accusing him of "getting rich" off Trump's campaigns.

Parscale Strategy, the digital services firm he founded, has taken in $16.9 million from Trump's campaign, the RNC and two joint fundraising committees that support both entities so far in the 2020 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records. The biggest payments, totaling more than $3.3 million, came in February 2019, but in 2020 the payments have averaged $93,210 a month.

Trump's campaign initially blamed Democrats and disgruntled Republicans for Parscale's actions last weekend.

"The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they've done to this man and his family," campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement Sunday. RINO, or Republicans In Name Only, is a term Trump and other conservatives use for Republicans who they consider not loyal enough to the party and its agenda.

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