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The Real Slim Shady

Brad Parscale 'took the bullet' for Jared Kushner, Trump's actual campaign manager

Brad Parscale, President Trump's campaign manager since February 2018, did not find out he was being replaced by his deputy, Bill Stepien, until right before the news became public Wednesday evening — hours earlier than planned, The New York Times reports. Parscale will stay on as senior adviser for data and digital operations, similar to the role he played in Trump's 2016 campaign, but it's not clear how much Trump's campaign shakeup will actually shake up the campaign.

"Trump is often described as his own campaign manager, and his political operation, which is overseen by Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and a senior White House adviser, has been tailored to his desires," the Times reports. In fact, according to several people involved in the campaign, "Kushner has served as the de facto campaign manager" throughout the 2020 re-election effort, and he was "a key figure in replacing" Parscale, whom he handpicked in 2016.

"Jared Kushner was the campaign manager yesterday, is the campaign manager today, and will be the campaign manager tomorrow," a source close to the White House told NBC News. "Brad took the bullet for Jared."

On the other hand, Parscale's ouster has been rumored for a while, thanks to his unusually high profile — including appearing in Trump's campaign ads — and newly lavish lifestyle. Trump is also dropping to double-digit deficits in national polls, and Parscale "suffered something of a mortal wound" after only 6,000 people showed up to Trump's Tulsa rally three weeks ago, an embarrassment "Trump could not let go of," the Times reports.

Parscale is close with Trump's adult children, though, and his company is the conduit to paying Eric Trump's wife and Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend. Several campaign aides emphasized to the Times that "Parscale was being asked to stay on, unlike others who have been let go from the Trump orbit."