The VICE Guide to Right Now

The Trump Campaign Is a 'Dysfunctional' Mess, Insiders Say

According to a new MSNBC story, Donald Trump's campaign is understaffed, fraught with infighting, and lacks the infrastructure that normal presidential operations have.

by VICE Staff
Jun 6 2016, 5:50pm

Photo of a December Donald Trump rally via Flickr user Gage Skidmore

Last week, Donald Trump's real estate seminar business Trump University, now being sued by some former students, took some serious heat after a judge ordered the release of testimony from former employees who called the whole thing a "fraudulent scheme." It was a big story, but the Trump campaign's response wasn't as nimble as you'd expect—instead of a media blitz explaining why the charges were bogus, what we got was Trump attacking the judge for his Mexican heritage and a weak video where former students (all of whom had ties to Trump) sung Trump U's praises.

The reason for the campaign's silence, according to a new MSNBC story out Monday, is that there's barely a campaign at all.

MSNBC spoke to multiple sources close to the Trump operation who said that the campaign is understaffed, fractured, and fraught with infighting.

One anonymous source called the campaign "dysfunctional," and others complained that staffers and donors couldn't talk Trump out of doing things like going after a judge because of his race, statements that have been criticized publicly by Trump-supporting Republican politicians. The article also highlighted ongoing tension between his top advisor Paul Manafort, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and press secretary Hope Hicks.

Trump has said that his small staff—which lacks the infrastructure campaigns normally have—is a positive thing, saying that it's "flexible" and saves money. But the sources who spoke to MSNBC painted a different picture, of a man unwilling to listen to advice or the expertise of others.

"Bottom line, you can hire all the top people in the world, but to what end?" another source told MSNBC. "Trump does what he wants."

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