Speed Reads

behind the scenes drama

Reportedly mad over size of Phoenix rally crowd, Trump dumps longtime event organizer

Before President Trump even took the stage at his rally in Phoenix last week, George Gigicos' fate was sealed — he would soon be relegated to the discard bin, jostling for room alongside Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Stephen Bannon, and Anthony Scaramucci.

Trump was backstage watching the crowd fill the floor of the Phoenix Convention Center, but he was angry when he saw how much empty space there was, one person familiar with his frame of mind told Bloomberg. Trump has always harped about staging and the size of his crowds, famously inflating the number of people who attended his inauguration, and even though more people streamed in the closer it got to Trump's speech, he decided that Gigicos, the man who organized the event, was never going to manage anther one of his rallies, three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg; Trump didn't give him the message, instead sending his security aide Keith Schiller to break the news. Trump went on to give an animated, heavily panned speech in front of an estimated 10,000 people that included him threatening to shut down the government to get funding for a border wall, ripping apart the media, and lambasting the two Republican U.S. senators from Arizona without ever saying their names.

Gigicos put together all of Trump's major campaign events, and although Trump wasn't always happy with how those turned out, his anger would pass, Bloomberg reports. Gigicos left his role as White House director of advance on July 31 in order to go back to his consulting business, but was still working for Trump's re-election campaign as a contractor to the Republican National Committee. Gigicos, who was one of Trump's longest-serving political aides, declined to comment to Bloomberg.