FLORIDA – US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was detained by police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday (Sept 27) after barricading himself in his home and threatening to harm himself, according to a police statement.
Fort Lauderdale police said they went to Mr Parscale’s home about 4 pm local time after receiving a 911 call about an armed man who was threatening suicide. Mr Parscale’s wife told the officers who responded that her husband had access to multiple firearms.
Police established contact with Mr Parscale and negotiated for him to leave the home. He was taken into custody under the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows police to detain people who are potentially a threat to themselves or others.
Mr Parscale, 44, was transported to Broward Health Medical Centre, the police said.
A spokesman for Mr Trump’s campaign, Mr Tim Murtaugh, promptly blamed the president’s political opponents for the incident.
“The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to this man and his family,” Mr Murtaugh said in a statement.
“RINO” is an acronym for “Republicans in Name Only,” a term Mr Trump and his supporters use to deride Republicans who have publicly turned against the president.
Mr Trump replaced Mr Parscale as his campaign manager in July, after a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew sparse crowds despite Mr Parscale’s public assurance that hundreds of thousands of people had requested tickets.
Mr Parscale was replaced at the top of the campaign with his deputy Bill Stepien but remained as a senior official.
In May, the Lincoln Project – a group created by dissident Republicans to defeat Mr Trump’s re-election – created an online ad highlighting Mr Parscale’s personal wealth and accusing him of “getting rich” off Mr Trump’s campaigns.
Campaign finance disclosures show that a company controlled by Mr Parscale has been paid millions of dollars by the 2020 campaign.
Shortly after Mr Murtaugh’s statement, Ms Stephanie Alexander, the Trump campaign’s chief of staff, sent aides a message asking them to avoid all public comment on Mr Parscale and calling an all-staff meeting for 9am Monday.
“Brad is a valued and beloved member of our team,” she wrote in the message, obtained by Bloomberg News. “We are thinking of him and supporting him during these times. At this juncture we must respect his privacy and that of his family. Please avoid publicly commenting on an evolving situation.”
Senior White House aides were informed Sunday evening about the incident, according to three people familiar with the matter.