There’s a grand article or two running all around the internet and social media about Stephanie Cegielski who supposedly was a key advisor to Donald Trump who finally wised up and jumped from the campaign. In an open letter to Trump supporters, Ms. Cegielski opens with this:
Even Trump’s most trusted advisors didn’t expect him to fare this well.
Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.
The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.
And I am now taking full responsibility for helping create this monster — and reaching out directly to those voters who, like me, wanted Trump to be the real deal.
Well needless to say the left is having a field day with this…a Trump insider leaving the campaign and spilling the beans on the campaign and the person.
But I got to wonder about something. In the above quotes she said she was recruited for her PR expertise and met with apparently his campaign staff. But her actual job was with a super PAC. So was this illegal co-ordination?
Last summer, I signed on as the Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC.
That remains a legitimate question despite the Trump campaign’s denial of Ms. Cegielski and the apparent inflation of her role by Ms. Cegielski herself…from Snopes:
Complicating things, the headline appeared to contradict the body of the article. xoJane identified Cegielski as Trump’s “top strategist” in their title, but Cegielski identified herself as the “Communications Director of the ‘Make America Great Again’ Super PAC” in her open letter to Trump supporters:
Cegielski was identified as a “spokeswoman” for the super PAC in an August 2015 article published in Politico, and Cegielski called herself a “consultant” on her LinkedIn profile.
While Cegielski’s official title may be unclear, it’s certain that labeling Cegielski “Trump’s top campaign strategist” is incorrect. Cegielski worked for a super PAC (which, despite the name, is not legally recognized as a political action committee and by law cannot contribute directly to or coordinate with a political campaign, although they can use raised funds to campaign independently) and not for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. [emphasis mine]
And the denial from the Trump campaign via Snopes:
Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, told Yahoo News that Cegielski was never employed by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign:
Evidently she worked for a Super PAC which Mr. Trump disavowed and requested the closure of via the FEC.
The “Make America Great Again” super PAC went dark as of October 2015 amid ongoing scrutiny of where the money was coming from and going to, and whether the committee had direct ties to the Trump campaign.
Given the nature of the Trump campaign it is hard to determine what can and what can’t be believed…but looking into funding for this super PAC and any cross pollination with the Trump campaign should get a cursory look see by the FEC or DOJ.