If you’re anything at all like me, even the tiniest bit of knowledge about Brad Parscale is enough to turn you off from him forever. Like, if you know who he is, you probably really don’t like him. It’s enough that he’s a shill for Donald Trump — being his 2020 campaign manager, and all — and it would probably have just been enough that he was the “digital media director” for Trump’s 2016 campaign, and therefore responsible for the bulk of the online ads you saw during that election season.
But now Parscale is under renewed scrutiny, and it’s for more than just being kind of a jerk to everyone who comes in contact with him.
It turns out that the day before special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his report to the Department of Justice, Parscale was in Romania delivering a speech to the political elites there in exchange for an unknown speaking fee (although the speakers’ organization he belongs to lists his fee as $15,000-25,000 on its website).
That’s not illegal in and of itself. But the appearance of it begs the question, is the Trump camp simply starting up the same old machine of sending its emissaries around the world during a campaign, creating the appearance of foreign influence?
Couple that with the fact that Romania is one of the premier fronts for the global white supremacist movement that finds its facets in America in the alt-right collective and among Trump advisors like Stephen Miller, and it looks worse and worse. CNN reports that according to audio from the speech, Parscale was there talking Trump’s reelection strategy, which points to the possibility — since Romania has no ostensible vested interest in hearing how he’s going to run the campaign — that he was there potentially soliciting strategies as well.
Parscale, true to the Trump brand, attacked the Washington Post for even reporting on the overseas visit. In a statement directly to the paper, Parscale told journalists:
This is yet another effort by the biased fake news media to systematically target another person in President Trump’s orbit.”
We’re not entirely certain why he would use the term “fake news” for reporting that did not accuse him of breaking any laws nor print anything that wasn’t an easily verifiable fact, other than that it’s a part of the narrative that he intends to employ during the 2020 campaign — an extension of Trump’s own “enemy of the people” rhetoric that has resulted in deaths and death threats against journalists right here in the United States.
The nonchalance with which Parscale has greeted reporting on his Romanian visit suggests that we can expect much more of the same.
Featured image is a screen capture.