A little over a year after entering the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump has hired a senior communications director to oversee his campaign messaging and interactions with the press.
Jason Miller, the senior communications advisor for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential bid, will fill this role, according to a Monday Bloomberg Politics report.
The staffing announcement—one of several expected this week—comes as top advisor Paul Manafort replaced ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The shoestring Trump team has scrambled to gear up for a general election contest for which Hillary Clinton’s campaign has spent the last year preparing, rushing to boost fundraising and to beef up national staffing.
Press secretary Hope Hicks has until now handled almost all media requests for comment single-handedly, while a freewheeling crew of paid surrogates regularly appear on cable news on Trump’s behalf. The notoriously unscripted candidate routinely fires off his own tweets and goes off message even in his prepared speeches, but has adhered to a more traditional version of campaign messaging since last week.
As Bloomberg reported, Trump’s campaign assembled a rapid response strategy with the aid of the Republican National Committee and has started firing off statements in real time to address breaking news.
Gaps remain, however. After Monday’s Supreme Court decision blocking stringent restrictions on abortion clinics, Clinton, President Obama, and dozens of Congress members sent out statements reacting to the news. The Trump campaign remained mum.
Think Progress reported that Miller recently deleted a slew of tweets criticizing his new boss for donating to Democrats, flip-flopping on issues like abortion, and employing personal attacks. Several of the tweets were accompanied by the hashtag #SleazyDonald.
The Trump campaign did not respond to Think Progress’ request for comment, and it’s unclear if staffers knew about the tweets before hiring Miller.