A day after Donald Trump was criticized for seemingly making comments about FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly's menstrual cycle, the Republican presidential contender and his top political consultant, Roger Stone, have parted ways.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Saturday, a Trump spokesperson said Stone, a veteran conservative political operative, was fired on Friday night.
"We have a tremendously successful campaign and Roger wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity," the spokesperson said in an email. "He has had a number of articles about him recently and Mr. Trump wants to keep the focus of the campaign on how to Make America Great Again."
However, in a tweet written on Saturday afternoon, Stone maintained that he had "fired Trump" because of the "diversion" over Trump's feud with Kelly.
During an interview with CNN on Friday, Trump criticized Kelly for asking him tough questions during Thursday's GOP primary debate. He told CNN's Don Lemon the FOX News anchor had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
On Saturday, Trump said he had intended to say "nose," and criticized people for assuming he was referring to Kelly's menstrual cycle.
In response to his remarks, Trump was disinvited Saturday from an important gathering hosted by the conservative political blog RedState.
In response to the Kelly scandal, Stone said he sent Trump this email on Saturday morning.
We have enjoyed a close relationship - both personal and political/professional - since the 1980s. You know that I wish only the best for you.
I was proud to have played a role in the launch of your presidential campaign. Your message of "Make America Great Again" harkened back to the Reagan era. Restoring national pride and bringing jobs back to America - your initial and still underlying message - is a solid conservative message. In fact, it catapulted you instantly into a commanding lead in the race.
Unfortunately, the current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message. With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.
I care about you as a friend and wish you well. I care about our nation, too, and wish it well. Be assured I will continue to be vocal and active in the national debate to ensure our nation does not again turn to the failed and distrusted Bush/Clinton families.
Let's make America great again!
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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