Trump: To Hell With The GOP And Take Wiley With You

Donald Trump is content to tell the GOP where to go, carefully cultivating his image as an outsider. Any GOP “party types” who back him do so at their own risk, as former political director Rick Wiley found out when he was fired via Twitter.

It’s like an episode of House of Cards meets The Apprentice. I’m not a huge fan of Wiley, a big-spending campaign kingmaker, but he really never really fit in with the Trumpsters. He was gone after only six weeks.

“Rick has RNC tattooed on his forehead. He’s not part of the Trump culture,” a Trump source said. “Wiley was someone who didn’t understand what we were able to do, and he wasn’t interested in being a part of the team in the end anyway.”

The “Trump culture” revolves around personal loyalty to Himself, not the party. Those who display the proper amount of genuflection and ring-kissing are honored for their fealty. Those who don’t…become like Wiley. Wiley’s mistake was not recognizing this and behaving like he worked for a campaign instead of bad copy of Goodfellas. When he messed with Karen Giorno, he was messing with a “made woman.”

After she was recruited to run Florida — a state where Trump struggled to find Republican hands because of the influence of Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush — Giorno grew close to Trump. After Trump’s Florida win, Giorno was promoted to head the campaign’s operation in the entire Southeast.

On Tuesday, Giorno and Wiles met in Orlando to plot out the campaign’s Florida strategy. Lewandowski and Manafort joined by phone. Trump called in at one point and gave his blessing to the plan, including dumping Wiley.

As for the rest of the RNC, they can get stuffed from Trump’s point of view. Look at what he did to Republican New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. That was a signal of how much “unity” Trump expects from the party he purports to lead.

He isn’t so much leading as conquering the GOP, making it his plaything. As president, this man will do the same to every sacred institution he touches (because judges sign bills and we need to loosen up the libel laws).

Lewandowski Demoted to Dog on a Leash

Being Donald Trump’s confidante and hatchet man has its benefits, but ultimately, Zod’s mercy is sufficient unto itself, Corey Lewandowski has learned.

Just 2 weeks ago, New York Magazine featured a relaxed and confident Lewandowski lounging by the pool at Mar-a-Lago.

Lewandowski didn’t appear to be worried about his job. He was kicking back in a Trump-brand golf shirt, drinking a 16-ounce Monster energy drink, and chatting with deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner, a former Bob Dole adviser, who at age 52 has been seen as the campaign’s grown-up.

Ahh, how nice it is to have the favor of the boss.

[Trump] hired Lewandowski thinking that the 42-year-old operative had two crucial assets: his Koch connections and an intimate knowledge of New Hampshire’s quirky political terrain. The first assumption was wrong, but on the second, Lewandowski proved his worth. And he gained Trump’s trust by demonstrating he possessed the quality Trump values most: loyalty. “This campaign, above all other things, is about loyalty,” Lewandowski said. In what’s been said to be a unique arrangement for a campaign manager, Lewandowski travels everywhere with Trump, a role normally reserved for the campaign’s “body man.”

And now, that’s exactly what Lewandowski is–and all he is–the body man. CBS News confirmed Monday that the former campaign manager is now just a dog on a leash.

Paul Manafort, hired last week to be the convention manager, will now run the Trump campaign, with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reduced to a role that amounts to body man and scheduler.

The number of staffers directly reporting to Lewandowski has also been dramatically reduced under the new structure, CBS News’ Sopan Deb reports.

Manafort moved all of Lewandowski’s personal minions to Rick Wiley, who came over from Scott Walker’s campaign after bleeding it dry. This caused national field director Stuart Jolly to resign.

Jolly, the sources said, was almost universally disliked by Trump state operatives who found him amateurish, arrogant and substandard. But he had been hired by Lewandowski, whom he’s been close to for many years, and his departure in a row with Wiley further highlights the shifting power structure within Trump’s senior campaign management.

But Trump only hires the best people.

Wiley’s effect on the Trump campaign can be immediately seen.

Trump will start spending substantially more money than he has since he started his campaign, with some $20 million for advertising in the big states in May and June.

Of course, it’s much harder to spend a billionaire dry than it was Walker, whose campaign never really got the traction it needed in the crowded field.

These are actually all good, needed things for the Trump campaign, which, if successful, will have pulled off the most massive pivot from reality-show fodder to professional campaign organization, in modern political history.

Then again, Trump is the master of bluster and Pyrrhic victories. Think of the USFL. Trump won, and beat the NFL in court. The league got a $3 judgement ($1 and triple damages). Zod moved on. It’s much more likely that Lewandowski, like Christie (“the plane’s over there”), Carson, Huckabee, Palin, and everyone else he’s used and discarded, will have nothing to show for his loyalty except bruised knees.

Donald Trump’s Good People Are The Best (Not)

Donald J. Trump likes to brag about knowing good people, who are the best, and whom he will hire to help solve the nation’s problems if he is elected president. When asked about policy specifics, the ever-vague Trump eventually resorts to his “good people” line instead of talking details and substance. Since Donald Trump wants the American public – and the media – to trust his judgment in people, and since Trump (rightfully, if evasively) equates policy with personnel, it is worth looking at who Trump has surrounded himself with on the campaign trail.

Of all the people Trump consults on policy and political matters, the one who stands above the rest is Donald Trump. In March, Trump told MSNBC that he is his own number one foreign policy adviser and that he frequently speaks with himself on such matters. “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” Trump confidently asserted before confiding that “my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”

On the campaign trail in Wisconsin, Trump told young voters “You’ll find that when you become very successful, the people that you will like best are the people that are less successful than you.” Sounds like somebody doesn’t really like surrounding himself with successful, smart people are good and are the best. “Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you,” Trump suggested as a recipe for greatness.

Perhaps his candid moment explaining his human resources strategy explains why Trump has surrounded himself with a truly unbelievable cast of characters including Corey Lewandowski. Trump’s campaign manager is at best a bully, and while he won’t face any legal headaches for a physical dustup with a female reporter, Lewandowski’s history of volatility towards co-workers and professional associates was apparently legendary prior to his job as the conductor of the Trump campaign.

Katrina Pearson is Trump’s campaign spokesperson, and back in January Leon Wolf at RedState dug up a gem of an e-mail Pearson once sent to Erick Erickson (she misspelled his name) fuming about an editorial written by Gov. Rick Perry. The incident long pre-dated her time on the Trump campaign, but raises a few questions about her competence. More recently, Pearson demonstrated her historical illiteracy by doubling down on Trump campaign rhetoric comparing the Cruz campaign to the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police responsible for numerous atrocities, killings, and human rights abuses prior to and during World War II.

Roger Stone, a “master of political dirty tricks” according to Politico, was fired from the Trump campaign in August 2015 despite his long and close relationship with the candidate. But his formal departure hasn’t meant that Stone has stopped working for his buddy. His latest “strategy” to help Trump at the Republican National Convention in Ohio this summer is to threaten the release of hotel addresses for each delegate who may dare to oppose Trump. A 2008 profile of Stone in The New Yorker captures Stone’s bottom feeding tactics and sleazy lifestyle quite well.

The latest addition to the Trump team is Rick Wiley, a Republican operative who is now best known for wrecking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential hopes this cycle. Under Wiley’s leadership, Walker’s cash-flush campaign managed to burn through money so quickly that the two-term governor dropped out of the race roughly two months after formally announcing his candidacy. Wiley dismissed his extravagant ways saying, “We didn’t have a spending problem. We had a revenue problem.” Shortly after the Walker campaign ended, Wiley – in a shameless act of self-preservation – gushed to Politico that his job had been hard because the candidate was someone who needed a lot of help to get ready for the national stage. The bottom line in Rick Wiley’s mind: He was the victim of an unprepared candidate.

Trump is absolutely correct when he draws a correlation between the people an executive hires and the quality of work an organization does. Looking at his track record just over the course of this campaign, the vague “good ideas” that are going to magically emanate from the great folks the Donald hires are a mirage and a fantasy.