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Politics

Donald Trump's Top Political Adviser Calls it Quits

August 8, 2015 - 4:15pm
Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Drama is dogging Donald Trump’s campaign after news broke Saturday that one of the Republican presidential hopeful's top advisers and closest friends had resigned from Trump’s staff.


Political consultant Roger Stone, who not only was serving as Trump’s top adviser but also has been his friend for 35 years, said Saturday afternoon he was calling it quits.

"I was proud to have played a role in the launch of your presidential campaign," read Stone's email. "Your message of ‘Make America Great Again’ harkened back to the Reagan era. Restoring national pride and bringing jobs back to America -- your initial and still underlying message -- is a solid conservative message. In fact, it catapulted you instantly into a commanding lead in the race."

The praise could only last so long before Stone admitted why he was abandoning Trumpworld.

Stone wrote:

“Unfortunately, the current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message. With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.” 

Stone told Sunshine State News Trump’s campaign was “imploding.” 

Trump has been using Twitter to throw rhetorical bombs since Thursday night's FOX presidential debate when he faced a series of tough questions and engaged in an aggressive exchange about women with moderator Megyn Kelly. 

On Friday morning he unleashed a nearly two-hour rant. “I really enjoyed the debate tonight even though the @FoxNews trio, especially @megynkelly, was not very good or professional!,” he wrote on Twitter.

He later added, “@FrankLuntz is a low class slob who came to my office looking for consulting work and I had zero interest. Now he picks anti-Trump panels!” 

On Fox News, Luntz was the moderator of a focus group of Republican voters after the debate who gave all-negative feedback on Trump. One focus group participant said Trump  “just crashed and burned. He was mean, he was angry, he had no specifics, he was bombastic.” 

He later told CNN’s Don Lemon Kelly’s questions were “ridiculous” and called Kelly a “lightweight.”

"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes," Trump said Friday. "Blood coming out of her wherever."

That particular comment led to widespread outrage from GOP primary candidates, many of whom demanded Trump apologize for his disparaging remarks.

Michael Cohen, an adviser for Trump, has said the focus group was “a total setup” aimed at knocking Trump down in the polls, that the network or Republican National Committee may have been part of a "coordinated" effort to slow down Trump's momentum.

"I don't know if it was the RNC, or Fox, or whoever, but it certainly appeared to look like an organized attack," Cohen told Business Insider.

 

Trump, however, offers a very different take. He told the Washington Post shortly after that Stone didn’t resign, Trump fired him.

Robert Costa of the Washington Post said in a barrage of tweets that Trump called WaPo several times to clarify what happened with Stone.

 

According to the tweets, Trump said he was cleaning house and running a “serious campaign,” and called the Washington Post over and over again to comment.


“I want to surround myself only with the best and most serious people. We want top of line pros,” Trump told the Post.


Stone’s friends, however, say Stone came to them yesterday to let them know he was washing his hands of the campaign and leaving. 

 

“Roger has been frustrated,” said Austin-based GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak. “Trump had been succeeding … [but] over the past few weeks he's gotten away from his message.” 

The Megyn Kelly incident, Mackowiak said, was likely the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

“I think he felt like the Megyn Kelly episode took it to a different level,” he explained. 

And as far as Trump firing Stone? No way, no how, Mackowiak said.

“No one will ever be able to prove Trump fired Roger,” he told Sunshine State News. “Trump can’t produce that email because it doesn’t exist.”

Mackowiak also slammed Trump for getting rid of people simply when he feels like it. 

"Trump's tactics are so transparent," he said. "They may have worked for him with New York media. He's tried to discard anyone at any time if he thinks it's to his own benefit ... that's not how politics work." 

Insiders told SSN Stone felt marginalized by Trump aides who egged Trump on in his feud with Kelly. The same aides suggested online polls like Drudge Report showed Trump was performing better in polls as a result of his attacks on the FoxNews personality, something Stone found very troubling since he was already concerned about the campaign’s “lack of scientific polling.”


THIS IS A BREAKING STORY. Check back for updates….

Nancy Smith contributed to the reporting of this article.

 

Comments

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You know, I'm not a Trump supporter . . . . . but it was clear from the questioning that FoxNoise was apparently personally targeting Trump with innuendo, negative attack questions . . . . . . all one has to do to show that this was true is compare the actual questions for each candidate and compare them side-by-side and determine who got the most negative, attacking questions . . . . . . want to bet who got basically zero substantive questions, but instead, got attacked in each question they were asked . . . . . FoxNoise, once again showing it has no idea on the meaning of "fair and balanced" . . . . . . . asking about whether candidates had received "a word from God", rather than questioning about how they'd handle policy issues like climate change, home grown terrorists and increasing gun violence, minority voting discrimination, corporate welfare, student indebtedness, and the like . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . .

It is more than clear that Mr. Trump was politically assassination by a reality show type debate, instead of a professional Presidential debate. If Mr. Stone couldn't hang with the excess that Fox news (and especially Megyn Kelly's BS), then it was best that he go, one way or the other. If anyone is truly interested in what EXACTLY happened at the 2nd 1/2 of the debate, please listen to the 2 audio clips by Mark Levin from the Mark Levin show at YouTube (Mara ZN). Once you hear how this all went down (and the secret political agenda that he reveals), you will think twice about Mr. Trumps stance at the debate and as the man in general that you once doubted. I was, and am appalled. So much so, that Mr. Donald Trump will have my vote in 2016.

Trump don't quit now. I'm a Democrat and I want to be able to vote for you. I believe in you, and everything your doing I know the media is putting lies and trying to tear into you for the fun of smearing your good name. The media never tells the truth and we the American people have always known this to be true. I know you're ideas are going to work I have been listening to you; really listing to just you, when you alone speek and even explain how you are prepared to execute you're plans and put them into action. I'm extremely interested and excited and hope you remain running. I believe you can win this election and make America great again. Just ignore all of these morons and remember that they just want to prove they can get under your skin, they want to make you tick and snap back be the professional you truly are stand tall ignore them tell them if these aren't questions concerning this race then then I will not entertain your questions that is all. You must also know that everything they have said about you is a lie some thing I know you have thought about out loud because you are no lier and you are true to all people, so when they call you terribly hurtful and hateful crap take a deep breath and remember these people get paid to write and if it's not full of catching rude material they have no paycheck so they are targeting you. Theyou never thought you would run but I'm so thankful you have. Now all I can ask is for you to keep running, and try not to feed into them at all, not even on twitter cause you will help them get paid more where there is a story to write or even broadcast you are helping to give these idiots a paycheck put food in there mouths and clothing on there backs pay there bills and live extravagant life styles. Like I said I so want to vote for you. You are my ideal next president please hang in there. You are honest, real, a true equal amoung all people, and always have real financial ideas on how to fix the American government witch has fallen flat on it's face we need help and the children of the future are going to need help. Hang in there. I only hope you get the chance to read this and I will send this to my friends tweet account as well hopefully it work's. Best of luck to you.

I, too, was a democrat but I have recently renounced my position. And I am more than certain that will be voting for Donald Trump in 2016. No other candidate can withstand the political assassination thrown at him, yet still stand strong for all of us. Bless his heart. Donald Trump all the way to the White House.

Megyn Kelly was totally off base. It was a tale of two debates. One for Trump that was meant to embarrass and provoke and destroy. One for the establishment that was meant to showcase and trumpet the nominees. This was so obvious that my 14 year old son noticed! Huge mistake! Trump is the only candidate that can save this election! Fox were cannibals Thursday night, eating their own best chance at success and probably handing Trump the perfect reason to run an independent run. But I disagree with those that say this would be the end. Trump could pull from both parties to change American Politics forever!

I don't know anybody who would vote for Trump who is a democrat. Trump hasn't laid out a single real plan other than "I'll make Mexico pay for a wall" and "I'd repeal that and replace it with something terrific."

There are thousands of us democrats (and recently denounced democrats) laying in wait for the day the polls open. Sometimes its best to be quiet while Fox News, Megyn Kelly and the other deviate news reporters try to do their damage, to eventually prove how much pathetic they have been. And if anyone cannot see what a value Mr. Trump would be for this country, they are nothing more than brain dead.

A "Stone" cold coward..."Roger"that ! (Let's all wait and see who the hardup candidate is who gets the "leftover Stone" between now and November 2016) Trump doesn't need him, Trump has us !

Trump is the only savior of the Republican Party. They spit out the same things that are hand fed to them by the RNC. There is no room for a bull in the china shop maverick like Donald Trump. He is a breathe of fresh air in a room of robotic men that change their views to meet the polls. Bush is off with his Common Core standards and will eventually get in line if he wants a chance to win the Republican nomination. Rubio came out in favor of immigration reform and he fell off the cliff begging for forgiveness if he gets in line. Walker was more boring than watching paint dry and should take some clues from Trump on hairstyle. Maybe he should stop dying it and he wouldn't look so strange and maybe get a get a pass to Boener's tanning salon. Carson was a joke wondering why a black man wasn't getting called on at a Republican Presidential Debate, HELLO! You have a chance? Kassich was excellent and I hope he has a real chance at the nomination. I waver between the intelligent and rational Kassich who can win in home state of Ohio. The last 6 or 7 presidents all won Ohio. And The Donald who's the only candidate who can excite the people and bring more democrats into voting Republican. Bush is an out of touch third or fourth generation rich boy who has no original ideas, flounders for days over whether he would have gone into Iraq, knowing what we know today. Almost 16 years, the most important question of his brother's presidency and he doesn't have a well thought out answer to this? Really? Idiot shouldn't be allowed to be town dog catcher. What a light weight! Cruz is total loser whack job. And wasn't he born in Calgary, Canada? Surprised Trump wasn't all over that. Guess he knows Cruz will drop out in 6 months anyway.

Trump and Kassich are the only ones that can save the Republic. The rest are worthless whores that capitulate to the establishment and will sell their souls to satan to get themselves into the White House. Rubio and Cruz care more about Cuba and the Castros than they do the US and the American people. Totally out of touch with our people and businesses that will benefit hugely from normalizing relations with Cuba. We trade with Vietnam and South Korea and Germany and Japan and Italy where millions of Americans lost their lives but Cuba? Did any Americans die there? So what's the grudge? Japan attacked us unprovoked and thousands of Americans died in vane. Fifty years later, half the cars in US and all the televisions in US are made in a country that was before 9/11, committed the worst terrorist attack in US history. We are great friends with all the countries that we fought huge wars against and all is going really well in these countries. Cuban embargo makes no sense, at all.

Pearl harbor wasn't a terrorist attack.

Hillary will campaign in all the Blue States. Bill will campaign in all the Purple states. Hillary will pick one of the Castro brothers as VP. He will campaign in the top 7 Hispanic states. Clear way for her victory!!! The GOP need to steal away about 5 to 9 states from the Obama 2014 victory machine. NO WAY!!!

No "Hillary President" in YOUR lifetime "Hillary clone"... (she's just as despicable as you are) [Stay anonymous "Lil Hill" so no one can hurt you or bring your "campaign aide" career to a grinding halt].

The GOP run the US House. The GOP run the US Senate. Where is the Congress passed bill to have an annual Federal Balanced Budget?

The GOP run the US House. The GOP run the US Senate. Where is the Congress passed bill to build and pay for THE FENCE?

I'd like to think the posters for some entertaining prose. Especially those of you for Trump. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- It really shows the mentality of repubs that Trump is winning!!-----------------But it is what repubs get with the southern strategy .-------------------------- All in all more repubs are seen, heard, the more votes Hillary gets.-------------------------------- And she beats Bush, Rubio, all repubs by about 10 points here in Fla!!!!!

Hillary will campaign in all the Blue States. Bill will campaign in all the Purple states. Hillary will pick one of the Castro brothers as VP. He will campaign in the top 7 Hispanic states. Clear way for her victory!!! The GOP need to steal away about 5 to 9 states from the Obama 2014 victory machine. NO WAY!!!

Unfortunately for the country and personal freedom, you are probably right about a Hillary win, especially since the GOP can't seem to strategize itself out of a wet paper bag. It scares me that you or anyone could support her after all her lies and her indisputable role in the deaths of our people at Benghazi. Hillary pays lip service to personal freedom and choice but has no problem with "wealth redistibution" or restricting freedoms in pursuit of her "1920's Progressive" politics (read "communistic"); and most important, she preaches like a liberal but lives like one of the worst fat cat one percenters. IOW, she is a true limousine liberal if ever there was one. And people like you, who can see through the Republican b.s with 20/20 vision, for some reasons cannot see her true nature and you just suck up whatever she throws down. Except for the fact that most of the Hillary supporters I've met are young, inexperienced, often emotionally and financially needy, and simply not in touch with the innate wrongness of wealth redistribution, I just don't get it.

I am sorry but if Megyn Kelly thought she was going to rip up Donald Trump by attacking him, She got what was coming to her! It was an AMBUSH by FOX or the Republican party. I do have to say the Donald Trump is gaining popularity every day. I am inclined to work for the campaign. I was a former UNION PRESIDENT and as a rule the unions vote Democrat. Well it would not be the first time that the UNIONS have backed a Republican. I am business owner and I am behind Donald Trump and if he comes to Florida, look me up and I would be glad to get on board! GO TRUMP!!

Has Megyn Kelly ever asked former NY City Mayor Rudy G why he has been divorced so many times? Has she asked him all the swear words he said against all his wives? Megyn was promoted because she is a fake blond and gives great B-Js. It is as simple as that!!!

That's your second reference to Megyn's alleged b.j.s. and both references are entirely inappropriate. What axe are you trying to grind here? I don't like what she did to Trump either, but there is no need to stoop so low as to try to sully her personal reputation. How can you possibly KNOW whether or not she used sexual favors to advance in her career? Unless you were behind closed doors participating in the favors, you can't. Her actions in this debate speak loudly enough without all the nasty references. She did a poor job with the the questions, although she may have been ordered to ask those , and probably did happily engage in trying to de-rail Trump. If so, that may make her disappointing and unprofessional, maybe even liberal, but not a whore.

If the crack news reader Megyn Kelly dishes it out, she needs to be able to take it as well. Poor girl. She sure has dished out a lot of crap but doesn't like equal treatment! I don't have any sympathy for her or any other persons that purport to be in the news circle. Especially the political news circle. An apology by Trump for any of this is kow-towing to political correctness. I too think America is in trouble. Partly for contrived/false political correctness. I tacitly agree with the concept that the reps of Fox News "set Trump up" regarding the "pledge not to be a third party candidate". Good God, it is the "news" business and they need to sell ads and newspapers. That's what their lives are totally about. I urge Trump to carry on. I wish that all this Presidential campaign action had not been allowed to start until May 1st next so that us ignorant, stupid voters had to only listen to ONLY 6 months of the rhetoric and lies before the November 2016 election. This household is conservative and NOT repugnacan!

I think everyone should consider this little blog, I believe, is operated by Fox.

YOU BETCHA!!!!!!!!

Let's just Dump Trump and move on. As for Fiorina getting fired by HP, that is true and she has never denied being fired. However, I believe they gave her ONE MONTH to clean up a well documented mess at HP and if the stock did go up, I guess it worked. Do you really thing one month is ample time or was she just a scapegoat. The man responsible for the mess was given much more time to mismanage HP.

MS Fiorina was fired because she ph'cked up running HP!!!!! Simple as that. The stock price dropped by over 50% UNDER HER RULE. She laid off 30,000 employees. The Board of Directors do NOT need to give anyone one month to fix up any mess. Yes, HP stock did go up 7.8% the day her sorry little a*s was fired. IBM stock did not drop by over 50% that same time. And stop being so stupid. You sound like she was hired for JUST one month to fix HP. SHE WAS NOT!!!! She was there for years!!!! ACCEPT FACTS!!!!

Whoa, don't be so mean spirited! Obviously, she made mistakes, but she also did a lot of good at HP. That's what's wrong with the ultra left, they cannot disagree civilly. It's all one sided. Whatever you say, she was excellent at that debate. I would like to see her run against Hillary! By the way, I am a moderate Democrat who is going to vote for Hillary, if she wins the nomination. You probably also believe Hillary did not destroy any sensitive emails! We all make mistakes, it's the way we handle those mistakes which reflects our true character. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Have a good day!

Boycott Fox News! That was a mean 1st question they threw at Trump wanting him to pledge not to run 3rd party no matter what! They wanted his pledge then throw him under the bus so their boy Bush would be the front runner against Clinton. Trump said no so they attacked him with questions that had nothing to do with " how Trump would lead America". Look at how the republican controlled House and Senate cave to Obama. Trump is the man and takes no prisoners. That's a true Leader that will turn this Train Wreck around. The World respects strength and will trample on weakness. A vote for Bush is a vote for weakness. A vote for Trump is a vote for strong Leadership. The talking heads want you to drink the koolaid, Bush vs Clinton.

Trump is a gift to the Republican debates. Think of it.... 24 million viewers to witness whatever surprises this entertainer turned politician might pull out of his sleeve. Without Trump on stage, viewership is probably 10% of that number and the Republican message is missed! At least now we have entertaining debates. The Democrats will have significantly less interesting debates and will probably accomplish nothing more than to put most viewers to sleep. Welcome Trump! Keep up the effort. The public is tired of the same old worn out boring messages and empty promises from mainstream insiders. I'm thinking the Republicans win regardless of whether Trump is the eventual candidate. My feelings... publicity, be it good or bad, in the end is positive since it draws attention, something the Republican Party desperately needs if anyone outside of hard core supporters are to watch and to hear the message.

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