It wasn’t the tone or content of Trump’s approximately 37

March 13, 2014

The Man Behind the President’s Tweets

Last July, President Donald Trump was sued in federal court over his Twitter habits. It wasn’t the tone or content of Trump’s approximately 37,300 tweets that had landed him in trouble. Instead, it was the possible unconstitutionality of the way he uses one feature of the platform: the block button. Though Trump’s Twitter account purports to be a personal one, the plaintiffs argued, his writings invariably involved government business and executive opinions making his posts a public forum to which all American citizens should be guaranteed access. One of them was Hope Hicks, long a public face of Trump World, the 29 year old former model who spent the past three years as Trump’s media liaison before leaving the White House in late March. A second was Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president’s designated mouthpiece. But the third, unlike Hicks and Sanders, was someone most Americans have never heard of: a man named Dan Scavino Jr.

Scavino was another of the “originals” on Trump’s 2016 campaign, and I saw him numerous times on the trail, but moncler jacket online I could never quite ascertain what he was doing to further his boss’s presidential ambitions. Aggressively nondescript, Scavino could often be seen in a suit at the side of the stage, taking photos of the immense rally crowds with his iPhone and later, while scowling at his laptop moncler jackets for women aboard Trump’s 757, posting cheap moncler jackets the images to Facebook. The other fixtures on Trump’s plane Hicks, the campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the policy adviser Stephen Miller and the security director Keith Schiller had roles that, in a famously unorthodox campaign, at least seemed familiar. But Scavino’s sole task, from what I could tell, was to document Trump’s popularity.

My perplexity over Scavino deepened after Inauguration Day, even as he got an official title: assistant to the president and director of social media, a position that had never existed before and one that paid him the maximum White House staff salary of $179,700. The Trump White House moncler jackets kids continued to employ an official photographer (Shealah Craighead) as well as a chief digital officer (Ory Rinat). This small digital team shared a moncler sale mens suite across the street, in the Executive Office Building. But Scavino got an office on the ground floor of the West Wing, just down the hall from the leader of the free world.

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The only official function Scavino filled moncler outlet that might justify his salary and his prime White House real estate was detailed in moncler coats for men the lawsuit’s stipulation of facts.

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cheap moncler jackets A couple of months after the lawsuit was filed, I paid a visit to the White House to inform Hope Hicks that I wanted to write about Scavino and his value to the president. Hicks was not enthusiastic. The story had already been done, she maintained vaguely, before adding that Scavino was himself unlikely to moncler jackets toronto pull back the curtain any further about his life and besides, she hastened to assure me, there really wasn’t much of a curtain to pull back. (Scavino declined to be interviewed for this article.) Dan, she said, was simply a selfless public servant who worked tirelessly for the president of the United States. As to his actual value, Hicks offered a curious descriptor I would also hear from several others: Scavino was “the conductor of the Trump Train.”

moncler sale For those who have forgotten the history moncler outlet ny of that particular phrase, the discount moncler outlet “Trump Train” began early in the campaign as a quixotic rallying cry. At the time, Trump’s presidential ambitions seemed like a populist burlesque rather than anything that could seriously be called a political movement. But the reality TV star’s fan base continued to grow, in defiance of polling and Beltway groupthink and in direct proportion (or so it seemed) to his mounting pile of scandals and outr policy proposals. The Trump Train, it soon became clear, was a juggernaut, and before long the phrase became second only to “Make America Great Again” as Trump fans’ most cherished meme.

moncler outlet sale In hindsight, the phrase’s rise is also a good illustration of why Scavino, as the behind the scenes cheerleader and relentless documentarian of moncler outlet store the Trump movement, deserves significant credit for its success. Perhaps the most profound effect of Scavino’s countless iPhone videos and photos is that they served as proof to so called “shy Trump supporters” that they were not alone that they were in fact (regardless of what the mainstream media reported) poised to make history. As Jason Miller, the campaign’s senior communications adviser, puts it: “You could make the case that without Dan fulfilling his core mission of conveying the excitement, people wouldn’t have realized that they were part of a movement. It was absolutely critical in encouraging people to turn out.”

But now that they had turned moncler jackets canada out for Trump and he was America’s 45th president, what did he still need Scavino for? I spent the next six months trying to find out, even as the ranks moncler outlets usa of “originals” dwindled. Keith Schiller left in September. Soon after Hope Hicks exited the building on March 29, Scavino now the longest tenured Trump employee in the White House took over her office, just outside the Oval. By these discount moncler jackets measures, he was one of the most powerful people in Washington, despite the fact that no one could explain what Scavino did for a living.

cheap moncler outlet Back in cheap moncler jackets wholesale November 2013, before Twitter had fully transformed into the cesspool of outrage and vitriol it is today, a 37 year old man named Dan Scavino decided to post his own contribution to a trending hashtag, MentionSomeoneYoureThankfulFor.

monlcer down jackets “Simple!” he wrote. “I would not be where I am today w/o him. An English schoolteacher’s son, he had played tight end moncler jackets mens and defensive end on his high school football team the year they won state and moncler coats for women had kissed the ring of Pope John Paul II. He had in fact twice finagled front row seats to see the pope, just as he had talked his way into a sales job at Coca Cola while polishing the company president’s golf clubs during his summer employment as a caddy. His genial hustling had earned him minor celebrity upstate: Scavino frequently dropped in on the studio of the K104.7 “Woodman in the Morning” radio show, and as a philanthropically minded Catholic, he could be counted on to judge a charity cupcake contest and to walk the runway in a “Best Legs in the Hudson Valley” competition.

buy moncler jackets But what propelled Scavino’s ascent more than any other factor was his relationship with Donald Trump. The two first met in 1990, when Scavino was a teenage caddy at a Westchester County course that Trump would eventually purchase and rename the Trump National Golf Club. Scavino carried Trump’s clubs, earning a $200 tip from the developer who later in the club’s Grille Room told the caddy, “You are going to work for me one day.”

cheap moncler coats Scavino went on to major in communications at the State University of New York in moncler jacket outlet Plattsburgh; he did a six month internship at Walt Disney World, then later got a job with the Texas based Galderma Laboratories as a pharmaceutical rep; he married and settled down. But throughout it all, he held onto the two hundred dollar bills that moncler coats for kids Trump had given him. When that same Westchester golf club, which now bore the billionaire’s name, offered Scavino cheap moncler coats for women a job as an assistant manager in 2004, he accepted. Four years later, he was the club’s general manager, whizzing around America in the big man’s private plane. After a brief and not altogether successful stint running his own consulting firm, Scavino reached out to Trump’s son Eric moncler jackets in November 2014 to see if he could come back into the fold. On Nov. 8, having heard the rumors of a possible presidential bid, Scavino buttonholed his old boss at Eric’s wedding and said, “When you moncler coats run, I’m in.”

moncler womens moncler jackets mens jackets What Scavino was offering were the services of a registered independent who had no experience in politics. He had only one qualification: He was a Trump die hard. Lewandowski hired him on the spot. In June 2015, the two men, along with moncler outlet canada Hicks and the political adviser Sam Nunberg, moved into a cramped office on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. Scavino’s first assignment was to try to find big ticket contributors to Trump’s campaign, an effort that proved fruitless, as the Republican donor class did not take his candidacy seriously. Scavino would later be enjoined to cultivate relationships within the Republican National Committee, which at that time viewed the bombastic New York businessman and reality TV star Moncler Factory Outlet with eye rolling skepticism. He had no luck with that effort either.

moncler sale outlet A more suitable job for Scavino materialized shortly after Trump’s formal announcement of his candidacy on June 16, 2015. The campaign had been trying to curry favor with the powerful publisher Joe McQuaid, whose endorsement in The New Hampshire Union Leader was among the most highly coveted in the early primary states. But this charm offensive threatened to come undone when, during Ivanka Trump’s visit on June 24 to announce the opening of a campaign office in Manchester, McQuaid’s daughter was unable to get her photo taken with the socialite. Trump was infuriated when he learned of moncler coats cheap this. moncler outlet uk To prevent similar dust ups in the future, Scavino had another duty added to his portfolio: going to the early primary states to tend to the needs of the local kingmakers.

moncler outlet online In this new role, as with so many of his roles for Trump over the years, Scavino continued moncler outlet usa to serve as a kind of caddy. He went on food runs for the candidate to McDonald’s and KFC. He faithfully typed out Trump’s tweets as the candidate dictated them. He also wandered the events, climbed the rafters and snapped smartphone pictures, which he then posted on both his and the campaign’s various social media accounts. It happened that the campaign already had a professional photographer on the payroll. But this was becoming a cheap moncler jackets outlet liability, in that she tended to take hundreds of images at each event, and the candidate would insist on spending hours of valuable time poring over every last one of them. The campaign did nominally have a social media specialist Justin McConney, son moncler coats outlet of the Trump Organization’s controller but he lacked Scavino’s instinct moncler jackets cheap for the base, and in any event, McConney was stationed back at Trump Tower, away from the real action on the campaign trail. By early 2016, Scavino had become in essence both the Trump campaign’s traveling photographer and its social media chieftain. And because the self funding candidate had no intention of spending a dime on media coverage, Scavino with his Facebook videography also became the closest thing the Trump campaign had to an in house moncler outlets uk ad maker.

moncler outlet Scavino’s willingness to take on other people’s online grunt work made him indispensable to the campaign. Early in the primary, the candidate’s son in law, Jared Kushner, argued to Trump that Facebook was much more powerful than his preferred platform, Twitter. “Every Facebook user is probably worth 10 to 12 times more than one of your Twitter followers,” Kushner told him. “And look, I think your Facebook page is totally underutilized.” The candidate responded, “Congratulations, then you’re now in charge of my Facebook.” Kushner turned around and handed over that job to Scavino.

Even as Scavino’s deployment of campaign imagery onto Facebook helped accelerate the Trump Train, it was Twitter, with its visceral impact, that remained Trump’s abiding love. “Somebody said I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters,” he crowed during an event in South Carolina in November 2015. (The “somebody” was most likely one of his employees.) On his plane or in limousines, he would dictate tweets for Scavino to post. Others, including Scavino, would goad moncler jackets outlet online Trump with their own suggestions. (Hope Hicks would supply the choicest put downs, recalls a former campaign official: “She’d have absolute daggers.”) Trump would give his missive a final read to make sure that it had not been watered down, moncler coats sale and Scavino would hit “Tweet.”

Now and again, Trump moncler outlet mall would enlist moncler outlet location Scavino whose followers today exceed 475,000 to act as a proxy, attacking the campaign’s enemies from his own account. At other times, Scavino took the initiative himself. Before long, the personal feed that had once been a totem of cornball folksiness included harsh attacks on Megyn Kelly, “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz and other perceived antagonists. In March 2016, Scavino retweeted a conspiracy video purporting to demonstrate that Cruz was having an affair with a former aide, Amanda Carpenter. Carpenter, who is married with children, went on moncler outlet online the air and heatedly denied any impropriety. She also condemned Scavino by name, calling his attack a “smear job.”

“It was a campaign, and they fight Discount Moncler Coats dirty, and they didn’t mind if I was collateral damage in the process,” Carpenter told me. “And they won. And no consequences. What Scavino did to me and what he still does to others would get any other professional fired. In Trump’s universe, it’s a qualification. A willingness to engage in lies and smears on behalf of Donald Trump is a sign of loyalty that Trump treasures.”

“It’s so great that I have moncler jackets men Twitter now, because I can knock the crap out of people,” Donald Trump told me one afternoon in late March 2016 at his South Florida country club Mar a Lago. “I have Official Moncler Outlet my own printing press now!” he added with Falstaffian relish.

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