The fallout from Donald Trump’s toxic war of words with Fox News host Megyn Kelly continues: Less than 48 hours after the first GOP debate, top adviser Roger Stone has either been fired (Trump’s version) or quit (Stone’s). “Top adviser” is a relative term on the Trump campaign: As Gabriel Sherman reported earlier this week, the staff consists of only three or four people at any one time — the number fluctuates as people leave or are fired — and this latest development is a continuation of infighting that’s been going on for some time.
Stone, a legendary political operator known for his colorful tactics and flamboyant persona, has been a player for the Republicans since the early ’80s. In his resignation letter, which his friends have shared online, Stone thanks Trump for their longtime relationship before elucidating on their schism:
“I was proud to have played a role in the launch of your presidential campaign. Your message of ‘Make America Great Again’ harkened back to the Reagan era. Restoring national pride and bringing jobs back to America - your initial and still underlying message - is a solid conservative message. In fact, it catapulted you instantly into a commanding lead in the race.”
He goes on:
“Unfortunately, the current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message … With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.”
There will undoubtedly be further developments as this story unfolds.