According to a breaking news report from Matt Drudge, President Donald Trump is ready to announce he’s running for re-election in 2020, and he already picked a campaign manager.
That Trump would seek re-election is no surprise. He’s already filed for re-election, he’s been fundraising for re-election, and his recent CPAC speech was viewed as a kick off for both 2018 and 2020.
But according to multiple reports, Trump is tapping Brad Parscale, the head of his 2016 digital operation, as his 2020 campaign manager.
BREAKING: AP source: President Trump names former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager for 2020 re-election campaign.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 27, 2018
Parscale was credited with the digital strategy that helped propel Trump to victory, but the House Intelligence Committee is also looking into Parscale as it investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Senate Intelligence Committee has also requested Parscale to testify.
After Robert Mueller’s special counsel indicted 13 Russian actors in his inquiry into interference and collusion, questions still remain over whether they received campaign data from the Trump Organization. According to New York magazine:
Mueller’s team is trying to determine if members of the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee, who worked together on the digital arm of Trump’s campaign, provided assistance to Russian trolls attempting to influence voters.
Mueller’s move appears to concern the disproportionate targeting of swing districts by Russian trolls during the presidential campaign. CNN reported in October that ads placed by Russia-linked Facebook accounts targeted Michigan and Wisconsin in particular, with many “geared at swaying public opinion in the most heavily contested battlegrounds.”
Experts don’t think the trolls behind Russian Facebook accounts could have determined who to target on their own, but the question is whether the help they got came from Trump’s orbit. The leading suspects at this point are Kushner and Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital media director.
Parscale worked closely with Cambridge Analytica, the data firm the campaign used that also being investigated for having ties to Russia.
And while it may seem odd to have someone who is being investigated for ties to a foreign government running your attempt to win back the presidency, it worked once before.
Parscale has denied any connections.