President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE’s reelection campaign has announced a staff shake-up just over four months before the general election as polls show him trailing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE.
Michael Glassner, who organizes Trump’s rallies, is being reassigned to a legal role within the campaign, and Jeff DeWit, a former Arizona state treasurer and Trump's 2016 Arizona chair, will come on as chief operating officer.
The shake-up, which was first reported by Axios and confirmed by a campaign official to The Hill, comes after a rally two weekends ago in Tulsa, Okla., where the president garnered embarrassing headlines after being unable to fill the arena and several campaign staffers contracted the coronavirus.
The campaign denied the moves had anything to do with the rally and indicated Glassner remains in the president’s good graces. Glassner has been among original hires on the Trump campaign dating back to 2015.
“This is not a reaction to Tulsa. Michael Glassner is moving into the long-term role of navigating the many legal courses we face, including suits against major media outlets, 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 success of the President is unmatched,” said campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh.
Many outside observers anticipated a shake-up within the Trump campaign after the Tulsa rally, which was widely viewed as a faulty event.
Speculation has also surrounded the position of campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE, though his job is reportedly said to be safe.
The Tulsa rally was the first such event for the Trump campaign in three months after it had essentially been grounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign conducted temperature checks, provided hand sanitizer to attendees and passed out masks, but did not enforce social distancing measures and many attendees declined to put on the face coverings. Multiple campaign staffers and two Secret Service agents later tested positive for COVID-19.
The rally had already been thrust under an avalanche of scrutiny after it was initially scheduled for Juneteenth, the annual celebration of the end of slavery, in a city known for one of the worst instances of racial violence in the country’s history. The president, in a rare admission of the rebukes, moved the rally one day later.
While the president is known to thrive on the raucous campaign rallies, his campaign scrapped an upcoming rally to be held in Alabama next week due to the coronavirus.