President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has made a change to the top of the re-election campaign, after the calamitous attempt at an overrated demonstration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, resulted in thousands of empty seats, officials said Tuesday. at night.
Michael Glassner, among the original hires for the Trump campaign in 2015, will be removed from the post of director of operations for the 2020 reelection effort. In his place will be Jeff DeWit, who filled that role in 2016 and is an ally of Mr. Kushner.
The move was first reported by Axios.
Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman, insisted that the move “was not a reaction to Tulsa,” and said: “Michael Glassner is moving into the long-term role of navigating the many legal courses we face, including lawsuits against the mainstream media, some of which will likely extend beyond the end of the campaign. He is one of the founding members of Team Trump, and his dedication to the president’s success is second to none. “
But two people familiar with the move described it as part of the aftermath of the Tulsa event and as an effort to find a head to roll on. Some White House officials had pointed the finger at Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale.
Mr. DeWit is a familiar and comforting presence to some in Trump’s orbit. He was a favorite in the campaign in 2016, joining after serving as treasurer of the state of Arizona.
Campaign officials set about building the Tulsa rally as they did at previous events, a wish Trump communicated through several attendees, according to people familiar with planning the event. But despite claims from nearly a million ticket requests to attend, and a capacity of more than 19,000 at the Bank of Oklahoma Center, fire officials in Tulsa said the event was attended by just over 6,000 people.
A person familiar with what happened said that Glassner was being unfairly attacked. The person, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said Glassner had already handed over his oversight role before the pandemic and that none of the important Tulsa-related decisions were made by him. The president, the person said, did not learn that Glassner had become the man of the fall for the event and said it was not justified.
Some in the campaign had believed that Trump’s staunch supporters would enjoy the opportunity to attend the type of event they had attended prior to the coronavirus pandemic. But instead, many Trump supporters seemed to fear the spread of a virus that the president has downplayed as a threat for months.
There is now widespread recognition that protests must be held differently, according to several people familiar with the discussions. But Trump advisers are still figuring out how that could be.