Donald Trump has named former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager of his 2020 re-election campaign.
In a statement, the Trump campaign said Parscale will lead “advanced planning” for the 2020 effort, and that the campaign will also be engaged in the 2018 midterm elections, which are shaping up to be a challenging environment for Republicans.
Trump has left little doubt about his intentions to seek re-election. He filed the paperwork to organize his re-election committee on the same day as his inauguration, held his first campaign rally on 18 February 2017 in Florida, and has mused publicly about would-be Democratic challengers.
Parscale, an Austin-based digital consultant and ally of Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, ran the Trump campaign’s digital operations in 2016, which included sophisticated social media targeting. He previously worked for the Trump Organization.
In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes last year, Parscale described how a team that grew to 100 people created 50,000 to 60,000 ads on Facebook daily to reach different swaths of Trump supporters to maximize support and online donations.
In a statement, Eric Trump, the president’s middle son who has taken on a large role in the campaign, said, Parscale “has our family’s complete trust and is the perfect person to be at the helm of the campaign”.
Kushner also praised Parscale in a statement. “Brad was essential in bringing a disciplined technology and data-driven approach to how the 2016 campaign was run,” he said. “His leadership and expertise will be help build a best-in-class campaign.”
Meanwhile Trump’s longtime aide Hope Hicks was meeting with the House intelligence committee Tuesday for a closed-door interview as part of the panel’s Russia investigation.
Hicks arrived shortly after 10am through a rear entrance to the committee’s interview space and did not answer shouted questions from reporters.
The panel is investigating contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia, as is special counsel Robert Mueller. Hicks has also been interviewed by Mueller.
As one of Trump’s closest aides, she is a key eyewitness to his actions over the past several years. She was his spokeswoman during the 2016 presidential campaign and is White House communications director.
It’s unclear how much Hicks will tell the committee. Others who have worked at the White House, including former adviser Steve Bannon, have refused to answer questions, citing limits on what they can say. The House is now considering whether to hold Bannon in contempt.
In the hours before Hicks’ arrival, Trump tweeted several times, quoting cable news commentators who said they had not seen evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. One tweet encouraged investigations of his Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.
And a last tweet simply said “WITCH HUNT!”