Apparently tension had been brewing between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his longtime campaign strategist for some time — and then after Thursday's GOP debate, things reportedly boiled over and now Roger Stone is gone.
The question is: Who cut the ties?
Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa broke the news Saturday via Twitter that Stone got the "you're fired" treatment from Trump:
Stone, who is Trump's longest serving adviser and confidant, was terminated by e-mail late Friday, Trump said— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
Trump tells WaPo: I'm going to kick my 2016 campaign into higher gear, cleaning house, no more "publicity seekers"— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
Trump said Stone might offer a different version of events:
Trump acknowledged that Stone may offer a different take on how this all went down. But he wanted to be clear: Stone is gone from Team Trump— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
Indeed Stone did have a different take, telling Costa he "fired Trump."
On phone now w/ @RogerJStoneJr: "I categorically deny I was fired and I'll let my resignation letter speak to the other issues."— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
"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 ..." Stone's resignation letter obtained by MSNBC read. "... With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.”
Costa noted that Trump and Stone had been at odds for a while, and then after things "flared" following the debate, their relationship ended the next day.
While Trump has been tearing into Fox News host Megyn Kelly since the debate, Stone took part in a Twitter war with the network's very own Geraldo Rivera a few days ago.
Costa also said Trump won't apologize for his Kelly comments, insisted he wouldn't leave the race and that Fox News needs him:
Trump tells me he's not apologizing for Kelly controversy. Moving on. Cleaning house. Ignoring party estab. Not coming to ATL.— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
Trump tells me he doesn't need Fox; they need him. "Without me, they would have had a million people watching, not 24 million."— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
How Trump ends call: with a memo to the GOP establishment. "I have a lot of money and I'm not getting out. I'm going to win."— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 8, 2015
(H/T: The Hollywood Reporter)
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