Donald Trump has removed Brad Parscale as campaign manager for his reelection bid. His replacement is Bill Stepian, a central figure in the “Bridgegate” scandal.
Stepien worked for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie until the Republican distanced himself from Stepien in the wake of “Bridgegate” – lane closures of the George Washington Bridge as political retribution.
Stepien was never charged with a crime and denied knowledge of the plan at the time. However, Christie took a dim view of his former aide in the aftermath of the events.
Christie was an early ally of the President’s but their relationship soured over the course of his administration. Stepien’s association with the scandal that tanked Christie’s popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Trump’s decision to hire a new campaign manager so close to the election has garnered scrutiny. Stepien is seen as an able hand whose worked on winning campaigns in the past, however.
“I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager,” Trump said.
“Brad Parscale, who has been with me for a very long time and has led our tremendous digital and data strategies, will remain in that role.”
“Both were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win, and I look forward to having a big and very important second win together,” he said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media