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Corey Stewart, Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman, was fired Monday afternoon for organizing a public protest of the Republican National Committee, which he argued had been insufficiently supportive of Trump’s candidacy.
“They threatened to fire me if I didn’t shut down this rally,” Stewart said in a phone interview. “They had me fired, it’s really that simple.”
He said it was close Trump adviser David Bossie, a Maryland member of the RNC, who demanded his ouster. Bossie wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Stewart described his ouster as “unsurprising” because the campaign and RNC are attempting to present a united front at a time of turmoil for the campaign. He said the protest, which he organized with Virginia Women for Trump, a grass-roots group, was an attempt to send a message of defiance to the GOP establishment and encouragement to Trump, who he still supports.
Hours before his firing, just as the protest at RNC headquarters began, Stewart accused the RNC of withholding resources from Trump’s Virginia operation and using the weekend leak of Trump’s sexually aggressive comments about women as a pretense for pulling the plug.