Speaking with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum in an exclusive interview on “The Story” Tuesday night, Parscale alleged that “when the polling numbers were going down, they were in his ear and I was out working.”
Discussing a reported incident in which Trump berated Parscale for passing along a bad polling report, the former campaign manager said: “I didn’t like lying to him — I like telling the truth. Sometimes that comes with a lot of painful days, knowing that I might let him down or make him upset, but a lot of the D-level people that hung around him told him what he wanted to hear: They were ‘yes’ men. I wasn’t going to be ‘yes’ man, but a ‘get it done’ man.”
Parscale did not name anyone as being specifically responsible for his ouster in mid-July, when he was replaced by Bill Stepien. Parscale did praise Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, describing him as “the real campaign manager” when Trump won the White House in 2016.
“In ’16, you know, people don’t like to admit it, but, you know, I was a semi-, quasi-campaign manager,” Parscale claimed. “I never got to say that publicly before because I couldn’t. Jared was the real campaign manager. I was the one doing the day-to-day.”
“Kellyanne [Conway] was the campaign manager, no?” MacCallum asked.
“Yeah, I think that was her title,” Parscale responded. “But I think the people running the day-to-day operation were Jared and I.”
Discussing the 2020 election, Parscale expressed disappointment in the campaign’s strategy after his departure, saying: “ We had a plan and I always had a lot of confidence in our plan. And I think the president and Jared had a lot of confidence in the plan. And it was unfortunate that we diverged from the plan as we came down the stretch.”
Parscale also described Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest “policy error” of the campaign, saying it cost the president dearly among suburban voters.
“I think that goes to one thing. I think it was a decision on COVID to go for opening the economy versus public empathy. And I think a young family with a young child who were scared to take them back to school wanted to see an empathetic president and empathetic Republican Party. And I think that — and I said this multiple times — he chose a different path.”
“I think he got one choice away from being perfect,” Parscale added, “and that was, do I want to open the country and be the economic or do I want to publicly empathetic?”