President Donald Trump further solidified his run for re-election on Tuesday, tapping former aide Brad Parscale to serve as campaign director for his 2020 campaign.
Parscale previously spearheaded digital marketing for Trump’s 2016 campaign, harnessing Facebook and social media advertising leading up to the candidate’s upset victory. He’s been dubbed a “genius” and the president’s “secret weapon.”
“Brad is an amazing talent and was pivotal to our success in 2016,” Eric Trump said in the Tuesday announcement. “He has our family’s complete trust and is the perfect person to be at the helm of the campaign.”
Parscale holds significant financial ties to Trump’s re-election efforts as one of Trump’s biggest vendors, Federal Election Commission records show.
During the 2016 campaign, Parscale’s San Antonio-based firm, Giles-Parscale, was paid about $94 million from leading GOP political action committees (PACs) geared toward electing Trump.
Parscale’s company was the top vendor for Trump’s campaign committee, Donald J. Trump for President, in the 2016 election cycle. The campaign paid them about $88 million over the course of the election.
Those payments have continued into the 2018 cycle. So far, Giles-Parscale is the top vendor for both MAGA and Trump’s campaign, having received about $4 million through January, according to FEC filings.
In January 2017, Parscale and other top Trump campaign aides formed America First Policies, a nonprofit “dark money” group geared toward pushing Trump’s agenda.
Parscale told The Associated Press that the group created by Trump confidants — some tied to GOP megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer — was a “grassroots group” intended to “go out there and help with the agenda, help the White House be successful.”
That “grassroots group” spent nearly $2 million last year on two special elections: $1.5 million opposing Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff and $452,254 in support of Republican Luther Strange, whom Trump endorsed in the Alabama Senate primary.
“We’re committed to continuing this fight for our country by President Trump’s side and I’m thrilled Brad will help lead the effort,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in the announcement.