Trump names campaign manager for re-election bid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday named former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager for his 2020 election bid, a sign he is prioritizing loyalty as he works to secure his own political future in what is shaping up to be a bruising midterm election cycle for the GOP.

The rise of Parscale, largely unknown in politics until just two years ago, has been inextricably linked to Trump’s own political success.

In a statement, the Trump campaign said Parscale will lead “advanced planning” for the 2020 effort, and that the campaign also will be engaged in the midterm elections.

But the announcement turned heads on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have been lobbying the president for months to keep focused on the November 2018 contests — with leaders and political aides warning Trump that Democrats could gain subpoena power over his administration if Republicans lose the House or Senate.

Trump, whose poll numbers have lagged recent predecessors, has left little doubt about his intention to seek re-election. He filed the paperwork to organize his re-election committee on Inauguration Day, held his first campaign rally on Feb. 18, 2017, and has mused publicly about potential Democratic challengers.

Parscale has long been close with the Trump family, a priority for the president as he begins planning his re-election strategy, according to a person familiar with campaign planning but not authorized to speak about private discussions.

The Austin-based digital consultant, an 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.

Parscale entered the Trump orbit in 2011 by doing web design work for the Trump family — including the president’s real estate firm and his son Eric Trump’s charity — before Kushner hired him to help craft the 2016 team’s digital strategy.