Trump Picks ‘Data-Driven’ Digital Expert to Run 2020 Re-Election Campaign

Brad Parscale, the digital director of president’s 2016 campaign, will lead Trump’s unusually early re-election effort

President Donald Trump has chosen the digital director of his 2016 campaign to lead his 2020 re-election effort, further advancing an unusually early campaign process.

.. Mr. Trump formally filed to run for re-election on Inauguration Day last year, earlier than any president in modern history.

.. Mr. Parscale will take the reins of a campaign that has been active​ in the first year of ​a presidential administration, a historical oddity. The campaign last year raised $43 million—four times what former President Barack Obama raised in his first two years in office, a period when he wasn’t actively fundraising.

.. No president who has served under modern campaign finance laws that date back to President Jimmy Carter has held a re-election fundraiser before entering his third year in office

.. Mr. Parscale, a longtime web marketer, had never before worked on a presidential campaign before joining Mr. Trump in 2015.

.. Mr. Parscale was responsible for creating and placing ads on social-media platforms such as Facebook, developing the campaign’s website and driving online fundraising efforts.

John Kelly’s Latest Mission: Controlling the Information Flow to Trump

For months, the White House under President Trump operated with few real rules, and those were barely enforced. People wandered into the Oval Office throughout the day. The president was given pieces of unvetted information, and found more on his own that he often tweeted out. Policy decisions were often based on whoever had last gotten Mr. Trump’s attention.

.. In two memos sent to the staff on Monday he began to detail his plan, starting with how he wants information to get to the president, and how Mr. Trump will respond.

.. Mr. Kelly’s predecessor, Reince Priebus, sent some similar guidelines around early in the administration, according to two officials, but they were never taken seriously. Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine general, has been treated with a different level of deference

.. Mr. Kelly has made clear that one thing he will not seek to directly control is the behavior of the president, and there is a good reason for that.

.. Mr. Trump has a history of lashing out at advisers who have publicly conveyed their attempts to impose tighter procedures on him. Just before Election Day, for example, Mr. Trump blew up publicly after a New York Times report that his aides had succeeded in keeping him off Twitter for the final stages of the campaign. He tweeted several times to enforce the point.

.. Despite Mr. Kelly’s fairly deft touch at approaching the president, Mr. Trump has shown signs of rebelling

.. That included his news conference at Trump Tower in which he doubled down on his blame for “both sides” in the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va., and his campaign rally speech in Arizona

.. Mr. Kelly had urged Mr. Trump to deliver a more somber, traditional statement the day before. And he and other advisers had urged the president to avoid taking questions from the news media at Trump Tower, a request that the president ignored.

.. In one of the memos, White House aides were told that all materials prepared for the president must go first to Mr. Porter for vetting and clearance. Then Mr. Kelly must sign off on them before they go to Mr. Trump’s desk.

.. given the propensity for some of Mr. Trump’s staff to slip him news accounts from dubious sources that shape his thinking or prompt him to cite unreliable or inaccurate information.

.. Mr. Priebus had tried to take firmer control of that process after Mr. Trump’s first week in office, when Stephen K. Bannon, the recently departed chief strategist, and Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser, pushed across the president’s desk two orders redesigning the National Security Council, and putting in place the first, court-contested travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.

.. That process is expected to curtail freelancing and hijacking of decisions by West Wing aides. Mr. Bannon was often accused of taking advantage of the loose process, but Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who both work in the West Wing, have also frustrated their colleagues for months by going directly to the president on specific issues.

.. “Let’s assume for the moment that Trump has learned the first big lesson of his first six months, which is that you have to empower the White House chief of staff to be a real gatekeeper,”

.. “What he hasn’t learned, what he has shown no sign of learning, is that governing is completely different from campaigning,” Mr. Whipple said.

All Roads Now Lead to Kushner

In 1960, the Kremlin made a similar offer to support the candidacy of John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon, but the Kennedy campaign rebuffed it. Likewise, when the Al Gore campaign in 2000 received confidential materials relating to the George W. Bush campaign, it called the F.B.I.

.. The Trumps insist that the president himself was unaware of the Russian offer. Yet the day after Trump Jr. received the first email and presumably had his phone conversation about the supposedly incriminating material, his father promised to give “a major speech” in which “we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.”

.. That speech targeting Hillary Clinton didn’t take place. But on June 15, the first leak of stolen Democratic materials did.

.. Justice Department are exploring whether the Trump campaign digital operation — supervised by Kushner — helped guide Russia’s remarkably sophisticated efforts to use internet bots to target voters with fake news attacking Hillary Clinton.

.. James Comey, the ousted F.B.I. director, in testimony to Congress referred to the risk that this channel could “capture all of your conversations.” Gellman suggests that this may mean that Kushner sought mobile Russian scrambling equipment to take to Trump Tower.

.. Look, this is a murky, complicated issue. But this much we know: Kushner attended a secret meeting whose stated purpose was to advance a Kremlin effort to interfere in the U.S. election, he then failed to report it, and finally he sought a secret channel to communicate with the Kremlin.

Can We Expect an Early Night?

she actually has a campaign, complete with number-crunchers and a turnout machine, whereas her opponent has a bunch of guys playing around with the maps on 270towin.com.

.. There will be no riots, the call will come early, and Trump’s concession speech will be a schizophrenic mess — half a conciliatory attempt to save his kids’ brand equity, half a ranting advertisement for Trump TV.