By Kelly Swanson, THE VOX
President Donald Trump has reportedly pushed out the man responsible for organizing his campaign rallies over a poorly attended recent rally in Phoenix.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Trump was “displeased” by the emptiness of the rally venue when he first arrived — and even though the crowd eventually filled in much of the space, Trump decided to dismiss George Gigicos, the man responsible for all of his campaign rallies.
Gigicos was one of Trump’s longest serving aides — he joined the campaign in June 2015 — and the latest loyalist to be removed in just over a month, following White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer, and communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Per Bloomberg, the president reportedly dispatched his longtime security adviser Keith Schiller to “inform Gigicos that he’d never manage a Trump rally again, according to three people familiar with the matter.”
At his rally in Phoenix on August 22, Trump ranted about the press’s condemnation of his equivocal comments regarding violence in Charlottesville. He also lashed out at Congress for failing to succeed on his agenda. Trump immediately received harsh criticism for the speech — CNN’s Don Lemon said described him as “a man who is so petty that he has to go after people who he deems to be his enemy, like an imaginary friend of a 6-year-old.”
But the rally was also characterized by reports that it was underwhelming to those present, which is likely to have infuriated Trump. The Washington Post headlined their coverage, for instance: “As Trump ranted and rambled in Phoenix, his crowd slowly thinned.”
“Hundreds left early, while others plopped down on the ground, scrolled through their social media feeds or started up a conversation with their neighbors,” wrote the Post’s Jenna Johnson. “After waiting for hours in 107-degree heat to get into the rally hall — where their water bottles were confiscated by security — people were tired and dehydrated and the president just wasn’t keeping their attention.”