Donald Trump. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media in the spin room after the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
By Ben Schreckinger and Katie Glueck
8/8/15 – 5:29 PM EDT
- Republicans question whether the laws of political gravity have finally caught up with him.
Fallout from a crude attack on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and the departure of a top political adviser roiled Donald Trump’s campaign Saturday, leading Republicans to question whether the laws of political gravity have finally caught up with the real estate mogul.
Trump’s insinuation Friday night that Kelly’s tough questioning during Thursday’s debate was a result of her menstruating — an assertion that followed a series of other attacks on the popular Kelly — left many wondering whether he could weather the latest controversy and remain in the race, even as his campaign continued to act as if nothing was amiss.
Despite widespread condemnation — and getting disinvited from the RedState gathering of conservative activists in Atlanta following the Kelly comment — Trump’s campaign continued to take a combative tone Saturday.
“Mr. Trump made Megyn Kelly look really bad — she was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard. Mr. Trump said ‘blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever’ meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics. Only a deviant would think anything else,” the campaign said in a statement.
The campaign also attacked Erick Erickson, the prominent conservative activist and RedState founder, as “a total loser.”
Still, the aura of crisis became unmistakable with the news Saturday that Trump’s long-serving adviser Roger Stone, a former Richard Nixon campaign staffer and acknowledged political “dirty trickster,” was no longer working working for Trump.
Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told POLITICO that Stone’s firing came Friday night in response to recent press coverage featuring Stone. “We have a tremendously successful campaign and Roger wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity. He has had a number of articles written about him recently, and Mr. Trump wants to keep the focus on how to keep America great again.”
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