On Tuesday, Stephanie Cegielski, the now former director of a Donald Trump super PAC and allegedly one of his top strategists, abruptly quit his campaign and wrote a scathing open letter to him that she posted on xojane.com.
And I am now taking full responsibility for helping create this monster — and reaching out directly to those voters who, like me, wanted Trump to be the real deal.
In the screed, she explains how she initially signed on to the campaign because she liked the idea of a "protest candidate." She said the plan was never for him to actually become president.
Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.
The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.
As the campaign progressed, Cegielski writes that she was surprised that the politically incorrect things Trump said didn't hurt him in the polls, but rather raised his popularity with those voters who did not count themselves among the "liberal elite."
I don't think even Trump thought he would get this far. And I don’t even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all.
He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver's seat, and nothing else matters. The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy.
In her open letter, Cegielski includes something Trump tweeted on March 27, in response to attacks in Pakistan.
Ignoring the fact that at the time Trump tweeted this (time-stamped 4:37 p.m.) the latest news reports had already placed the number differently at 70 dead, 300 injured, take a moment to appreciate the ridiculous, cartoonish, almost childish arrogance of saying that he alone can solve. Does Trump think that he is making a cameo on Wrestlemania (yes, one of his actual credits)?
This is not how foreign policy works. For anyone. Ever.
Superhero powers where "I alone can solve" problems are not real. They do not exist for Batman, for Superman, for Wrestlemania and definitely not for Donald Trump.
What was once Trump's desire to rank second place to send a message to America and to increase his power as a businessman has nightmarishly morphed into a charade that is poised to do irreparable damage to this country if we do not stop this campaign in its tracks.
The letter is quite long and very interesting, it can be found in entirety here.
As for a response from the Trump camp, Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, issued a statement about Cegielski, saying: "This person was never employed by the Trump campaign. Evidently she worked for a Super PAC which Mr. Trump disavowed and requested the closure of via the FEC. She knows nothing about Mr. Trump or the campaign and her disingenuous and factually inaccurate statements in no way resemble any shred of truth. This is yet another desperate person looking for their fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is running for President because he is the only one who will Make America Great Again."
Whether or not Trump can Make America Great Again remains to be seen, but so far he's the only prominent candidate who Made A Strategist Quit Angrily and Denounce Him Publicly—so at least he's making some stuff happen.