US President Donald Trump has tapped a new campaign manager, but deprived of his Twitter handle following a major hack on the platform, decided – or was forced by a shutdown of verified accounts – to declare the move on Facebook.
“I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager,” Trump said in a lengthier-than-usual social media post on Wednesday night, adding that his previous campaign head, Brad Parscale, would remain in charge of “digital and data strategies” and retain a position as a senior advisor.
Both [Stepien and Parscale] were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win, and I look forward to having a big and very important second win together.
While it’s unclear exactly what prompted the personnel swap, the Washington Post cited unnamed officials who claimed the president was “angry” with Parscale over an ill-fated campaign rally in Oklahoma last month. Parscale hyped up the event, claiming the Trump team had been flooded with over one million ticket requests, yet the rally itself ended up drawing only 6,000 or so attendants. Though the former campaign manager blamed the poor turnout on heated protests staged outside the venue, alternative theories have since emerged that pranksters bought up thousands of tickets to leave the seats empty on purpose.
Trump has yet to address Wednesday’s unprecedented security breach on Twitter or the subsequent freeze on the platform’s verified accounts – which presumably included his own – and has not tweeted since the incident, instead sending a number of posts on Facebook. It remains unknown whether he is still locked out of his account, or chose to migrate to a different platform for another reason.
The massive hack swept up a series of high-profile accounts, including those of former President Barack Obama, 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden, celebrities such as Kanye West, as well as a number of billionaires and corporations, among them Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Apple. Twitter has acknowledged the intrusion, but has yet to clarify how hackers could have gained access to so many accounts at once.
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