Donald Trump’s mysterious campaign staff tap-dance.
Schadenfreude: It’s not just a vice. It’s a way of life. Don’t worry, though. If you take a bit of guilty pleasure in what you’re about to read, it only means you join the ranks of such storied intellectuals as Christopher Hitchens. A man who, when asked what brought him joy in life, replied: “Irony, sex, whiskey and crowing over the misfortunes of others. It doesn’t always make me feel better – but it never completely fails.” So, prepare thy roost, Stormcrow. No matter how your day’s gone so far, it’s about to get better.
Donald Trump’s campaign has never been free of troubles. Like most groups brought together by hatred, xenophobia, ignorance and fascistic leanings, there’s always been a certain degree of infighting and viciousness within the ranks of Trump supporters. That certainly extends to his own staffers, those working directly for Trump and taking a paycheck for the pleasure.
Of whom there are now a few less.
Just last month, Trump fired longtime campaign coordinator Corey Lewandowski, who just started his new gig as a commentator on CNN. However, it’s quite likely this particular “firing” was planned in anticipation of Lewandowski’s role on the network; he’s been consistently shilling for the Trump campaign on-air every day for the last week. A fact which hasn’t gone unnoticed by either the audience, or his new colleagues. So, maybe Lewandowski’s “retirement” from the Trump cause wasn’t so much “You’re Fired,” as “You’ve been reassigned.” Because liberal media bias.
However, that probably isn’t the case with Kevin Kellums and Erica Freeman. Kellums (who was only hired two weeks ago) and Freeman worked to coordinate and guide Trump’s campaign surrogates. Effectively, high-level propaganda handlers for those speaking on Trump’s behalf throughout the nation; giving them those talking points and buzzwords which The Trump deemed worthy. Both resigned their positions in the last few days. Though “were asked to leave” is probably the more accurate description.
Erica Freeman left (or was asked to leave) after sending out an email telling campaigners to stop discussing the many lawsuits currently pending against Trump University. Trump’s non-accredited “university” was essentially a series of training seminars for aspiring real estate moguls, and has been accused in court of everything from false claims to criminal racketeering. One lawsuit describes the organization as a “bait-and-switch,” offering practically nothing for the inductees’ $35,000 to $65,000 fee, apart from basic real estate tricks anyone could learn from any book on the matter. Students thought they were buying their way into a kind of Trump network, a secret club that would grant them the keys to every door once closed. In reality, all they got was a few pep talks and 65 grand worth of “thank you very much, sucker.”
In one case, a woman named Tarla Makaeff led a successful class-action lawsuit against Trump University
Freeman’s email advised campaigners to stop discussing any of the several pending lawsuits against Trump University, as well as “punitive damages for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and bad faith.” Trump attempted to counter-sue her for defamation, until the judge pointed out that defamation laws don’t apply against a corporate LLC. The judge gave her $800,000 of Trump’s money — all for a $65,000 investment in Trump University. Maybe The Donald taught her something after all.
Freeman’s sage advice to staffers to stop discussing this and the many other lawsuits against Trump for fraud, racketeering and various other forms of scammery was countermanded by Trump himself. Perhaps to his credit, he told his staff to “take that order, and throw it the Hell out.” His call to staffers on the matter reflected a similar degree of education, class and professionalism.
“Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks? That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”
Putting aside the elegant language that totally wouldn’t have seemed childish to those of us who made it past 5th grade…you at least have to appreciate the sentiment of diversity on Trump’s behalf. Because apparently, Trump will hire you as a high-level campaign coordinator even if you are “not so smart.” You heard from the man himself: stupidity doesn’t just get you hired in the Trump campaign: it puts you in charge.
Ladies and Gentlemen…your President.
The story with Kevin Kellum’s resignation is a bit less clear; it may or may not have been related to “stupid” emails. Perhaps he was just another “not so smart” person hired by Trump. We may never know.
Of interesting note, these aren’t the only two to leave Trump’s campaign in the last couple weeks. (We’re not counting certain CNN commentators, seeing as how they’re still obviously working for Trump.) “Digital strategist” Vincent Harris was also fired by Trump a mere two days after his hiring. Harris’ firm had previously worked on Rand Paul’s campaign. While Harris says his firm had simply completed the work it was given, some others say (especially given his previous reaction of immediate surprise) that this wasn’t exactly the case.
Still others say holy sh*t you hired a strategist from RAND PAUL’S campaign?
“Not so smart,” indeed.
Still, no matter what, Harris IS technically correct: If you get fired, you have, by definition, completed the work you were given. This is accurate. So, maybe this one is kind of a wash.
In any case, the Trump campaign does seem to have a problem holding onto its employees and contractors. Maybe it’s because they said and did “stupid” things; or maybe its because that’s the inevitable outcome of hiring people who are stupid enough to support Trump in the first place. These are matters of infinite regress, probably best discussed by philosophers. As to the rest of us, we can just enjoy the suffering of this particular engine of idiocy, crowing guilt-free over its many foibles past and yet to come.
Feature image via The Daily Beast