Most of you will have read by now that former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale (the first digital director to run a major presidential campaign) was tackled by police and forcibly committed over the weekend after he threatened to kill himself and his wife, whom he may have also abused. Now we hear from anonymous sources quoted in the Daily Mail that he broke down in part because the Trump campaign and the RNC suspect that he may have stolen tens of millions of dollars from them.
Or not! The source weaves a story in which Parscale MAY have stolen money, or it may just have been poorly accounted for (the framing when we first heard about possible discrepancies over the summer). For what it’s worth, the Daily Mail includes quotes from Republican spokespeople denying that an investigation of any kind is under way.
Whatever the truth, the way this leaked stinks. It reeks of blame-shifting and of kicking a person when he’s down, and accompanying it was a truly vile Trump campaign statement “sympathizing” with Parscale’s condition while trying to score cheap political points. Parscale and I surely agree on very little outside of mechanical questions about our shared profession, but I know what it feels like when someone’s brain can’t take it any more — believe me. You’ll find no shadenfreude here over his breakdown, only sympathy for him and his wife.
If it turns out that he DID siphon big bucks out the campaign and the Repubican Party, he should be tried, convicted and forced to serve his sentence. And of course, many of us will chuckle at the irony of a supreme grifter like Donald Trump being taken advantage of so blatantly. But these leaks about Parscale don’t serve a legal or a moral purpose — they serve someone’s personal agenda. In the process, they give us yet another example of the moral bankruptcy at the heart of the Trump administration. American politics cannot be rid of these people too soon.