Just three weeks before he is set to officially claim the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump was hit with another staff shakeup as his campaign struggles to expand in advance of what is expected to be a bruising general election campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Kevin Kellems, a veteran GOP strategist and former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, abruptly resigned from the Trump staff Thursday, less than two weeks after he was hired to help oversee the campaign’s surrogate operations. Erica Freeman, another aide working with surrogates, also quit.
“While brief, it has been an interesting experience, and I am proud of the contributions made to our early-phase project endeavors,” Kellems wrote in a goodbye note to colleagues.
The campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The latest departures come as Trump has tried to steady a campaign operation that has been shaken by internal drama and outside turmoil, including the candidate’s own missteps. Those include Trump’s comments about a federal judge and his response to the Orlando shooting that many Republicans say have distracted from his general election argument against Clinton.
Two weeks ago, Trump fired Corey Lewandowski, his campaign manager and longest-serving campaign aide, amid tensions between him, the Trump family and other Trump aides, including Paul Manafort, a longtime Washington hand who was hired this spring to help ready the campaign for the general election.
But the Trump operation has continued to expand its operations in other areas. Earlier this week, the Trump team hired Jason Miller, who most recently worked for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, to buttress its communications operation. And on Friday, Trump announced he had hired Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP strategist and pollster, as a senior adviser. Conway, who until recently was helping run a super-PAC backing Cruz, is expected to advise Trump on how to better appeal to female voters.
“Colorado has taught me a lot about politics,” Trump said, calling it a “rigged” election. “The polls came out that I was going to win Colorado. … I was looking forward to it, and then all of a sudden I didn’t get the delegates. I said, ‘What happened to the vote?’ I started to learn.”
I believe Trump is right, if at all possible we will see a lot of fraud this election. Clinton does not value our laws in any way. She like many that she has worked for believes she above our laws. A vote for Clinton will be as if we are voting for a third term for Obama. She may in fact be worse than Obama in some ways.