Corey Stewart, the Virginia state co-chairman for the Donald Trump campaign, was fired Monday after hosting a protest rally outside the D.C. headquarters of the Republican National Committee earlier that day.
Trump campaign deputy manager Dave Bossie said Stewart, a Republican candidate in Virginia’s 2017 gubernatorial race, was let go from his position because he “staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the knowledge or the approval of the Trump campaign.”
Stewart told The Daily Caller he was aware of the potential consequences of hosting a demonstration outside the RNC and that Bossie had demanded he shut down the event right before it started. The former state chairman did not heed that demand.
“When I helped organize this [anti-RNC demonstration], I knew there was a chance I would be fired, but this message has to get out there,” Stewart told TheDC in a phone interview.
The message Stewart wanted to send to the RNC was that it must support Trump, or lose across the board in the election. The Republican nominee’s support among party leaders plummeted over the weekend after video tape surfaced of the billionaire making crude comments about women and there were rumors the RNC may entirely cut off Trump. (RELATED: Top Republicans Condemn Trump’s Lewd Comments From 2005)
“This is the end of the RNC. If they don’t support the Republican nominee for president, they will permanently fracture the RNC leadership from the grassroots who nominated Mr. Trump,” Stewart declared on the possibility of an RNC withdrawal from the Trump campaign. He added in response to GOP leaders, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Arizona Senator John McCain, abandoning Trump, “The Republican establishment, as epitomized by the RNC, has betrayed Mr. Trump and in doing so have betrayed the grassroots.”
One thing that has angered Stewart about the RNC is what he sees as their diversion of resources from the Trump campaign, particularly from his home state of Virginia.
“Unless the RNC is called out for their failure to support the Trump campaign, we’re going to lose. The RNC has pulled its resources from a must-win state for the Trump campaign in Virginia. But it’s a state that doesn’t have any significant down-ticket races, and that’s why they’ve diverted resources out of Virginia,” Stewart, the at-large chairman for the Prince William (Va.) Board of County Commissioners, said.
The former Trump campaign official said he had relayed these concerns to the RNC recently and that they had agreed to provide funding for more staffing in the state. But, according to Stewart, the funding was pulled right when the hires were made, thus forcing him to lay off the new staffers.
Stewart is still committed to supporting Trump in the election and vowed to keep helping the Republican nominee’s cause in Virginia. He is also continuing on with his own gubernatorial campaign.