Monday, January 9, 2017
Another Organization For Trump Haters To Shoot At!
New pro-Trump political group readies for launch
Brad Parscale will serve as president, and Pence adviser Nick Ayers is expected to join in senior role, along with spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.
The new political group being launched to boost President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda is finally taking shape after weeks of sometimes contentious discussions.
According to people familiar with the plans, Trump’s former digital director Brad Parscale is expected to be named as president of the group and Nick Ayers, one of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s top political advisers, is likely to join in an as-yet unnamed senior role.
Marty Obst, another top Pence aide, is also planning to join the political group as senior political adviser. Obst, who is currently working for the Trump inaugural committee, was previously the campaign manager for Pence’s reelection campaign in Indiana and later oversaw operations of the vice-presidential campaign.
Katrina Pierson, who appeared regularly on cable as Trump’s national spokeswoman during the campaign, is expected to join the group as its communications director. Pierson recently turned down a job as deputy press secretary at the White House under Sean Spicer, two people said.
The exact title for Ayers, who was at one point discussed as a possible chairman of the Republican National Committee, is still under discussion, with possibilities including executive director, CEO, and chairman of the board.
But day-to-day operational control of the group, which will be organized as a 501(c)4 nonprofit, is expected to lie with Parscale, who was given authority to take charge by Jared Kushner, Trump’s influential son-in-law. Inside Trump’s orbit, there has been a tug-of-war for weeks over who would control this outside entity — and with it the potential to tap into millions of dollars from both small and large donors.
“The formal Trump outside group will be this one,” said a person involved in the planning.
Parscale, Obst, Pierson, and Ayers all declined to comment for this story.
Trump aides held organizational meetings in New York City this week to discuss the future of the group and what roles the top advisers would take. Among the priorities was finding a role for Ayers, who has won the support of Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, and Rebekah Mercer, one of the president-elect’s top donors.
The group is modeled after the nonprofit that backers of President Obama created after the 2008 campaign, a concept that was pushed heavily by Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager who is joining the White House as counselor to the president. Conway had initially been expected to take an official role at the outside group; her decision to forgo that position was one of the matters that top Trump officials aimed to address this week.
Notably missing from the emerging structure is David Bossie, who served as Trump’s deputy campaign manager, and has not been included in the first wave of senior staff announcements at the White House. Some Trump aides have begun to wonder what role he will take with the new administration, if any.
Bossie has previously run independent political groups, most recently Citizens United, and he could still take charge of another group, possibly a super PAC. Bossie did not return requests for comment.