Former President Donald Trump is bringing in GOP campaign veteran Susie Wiles to help run his political operation as reports suggest there is infighting among the group of advisers surrounding him at Mar-a-Lago.
Business Insider first reported the promotion of Wiles, who had helped Trump secure Florida’s Electoral College votes in both 2020 and 2016. She also is a veteran of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s campaigns.
Wiles’ elevation, reported Insider, stoked speculation that Trump was preparing to dump his 2020 national campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy Justin Clark, who have remained working for Trump as he’s lorded over Republican Party politics from Mar-a-Lago.
Former President Donald Trump (left) put Republican campaign veteran Susan Wiles (right) in charge of his political operation amid speculation that he might be pushing former campaign manager Bill Stepien out
Former President Donald Trump (left) poses for a photo with Susan Wiles (right). ‘The president tells everyone around Mar-a-Lago that Susie is now in charge,’ Politico’s Playbook reported Thursday
Wiles was brought in last week to help structure Trump’s efforts to continue being the leader of the Republican Party and to assist him with a 2024 White House bid if that plan goes forward, Insider said.
‘The president tells everyone around Mar-a-Lago that Susie is now in charge,’ Politico’s Playbook additionally reported.
In an interview with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump – which promptly got pulled from social media on Wednesday – the ex-president indicated the door was very much open for a 2024 White House run.
‘You do have hope, that I can tell you, you do have hope,’ Trump said when Lara Trump asked if his supporters could remain hopeful that he’ll run for president again. ‘We love our country, this country, we all owe a lot to our country, but now we have to help our country.’
Playbook also reported that Trump has grown suspicious as a number of aides around him have added political clients – using his name and their connections to the ex-president to grow their business.
‘There was a lot of smoke around, “If I’m your consultant then I can get the president to endorse him,”‘ one Trump adviser told Politico. ‘Making money off [him] or using [him] is the thing he hates the most.’
Another Politico story released Thursday detailed just that, as a prominent Trump donor received an unsolicited call from a Republican running for office, which signaled that someone in Trumpworld had accessed the campaign’s donor list for their own political clients.
This prompted Jones Day, the law firm that represented Trump’s campaign committee, to send out a warning to former staff telling them to destroy any information they may have taken from the Trump campaign’s Rolodex.
The letter threatened former staffers with prosecution.
‘These are people who didn’t like each other four months ago and now they all have a common interest: how to get some coin out of the Trump post-presidency,’ a senior administration official told Politico of the dynamic.
Politico also reported on a scene at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser for an incumbent Republican in which one Trump aide, in front of another, bragged about being instrumental in setting the event up.
‘I don’t begrude anyone for wanting to make money … but don’t be so brazen about it,’ said the aide who had overheard the boast.
The jockeying for access and influence by aides surrounding Trump at Mar-a-Lago was described to Politico by one 2016 campaign aide as the ‘Wild West.’
Another source told the publication that, ‘Right now, it’s like daycare if you took the adults away.’
‘There’s virtually nobody with organizational skills left,’ the source said.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller was quoted by both Insider and Politico knocking down reports of discord.
‘Having been around Trump World for five years now, I would argue that here’s the least amount of ally competition or conflict at this point than I’ve ever seen,’ Miller said. ‘The people who the president has kept in his orbit are all true believers who understand that he makes his own decisions, and we have very specific roles supporting him.’
In a Thursday morning tweet, Miller accused Politico of using Trump’s name to attract eyeballs.
‘Very disappointed with three (!) misleading write-ups in Politico and Playbook this morning that all have a common denominator: using the Trump name as clickbait,’ Miller wrote.
He was referring to Playbook’s write-up of Wiles’ promotion, the longer piece on ‘Lord of the Flies’ factionalism at Mar-a-Lago and another report on a Government Accountability Office report that said the U.S. Agency for International Development was not rigorously tracking the money spent on women’s programs – tying it to Ivanka Trump because it was her signature initiative.
Miller called Ivanka Trump’s work in that area a ‘tremendous success.’
‘The clickbait is sooo thirsty today!!!’ he told DailyMail.com.