Donald Trump’s campaign said they have fired Roger Stone, the self-described political “hit man” who has long advised Trump. Stone, however, told msnbc he was not terminated and instead resigned over Trump’s behavior.
Trump announced Stone’s departure in an interview with The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, although he suggested Stone may deny his version of events. Stone caused a stir this week after he called Republican strategist Ana Navarro, who is Hispanic, and commentator Roland Martin, who is African-American, “quota hires” on Twitter.
According to a purported letter of resignation provided by Stone, he left the campaign on Saturday because Trump derailed his message of “restoring national pride and bringing jobs back to America” with his constant public feuds.“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,” Stone wrote. “With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.”
Trump’s campaign accused Stone of exploiting the campaign for personal gain.
“Mr. Trump fired Roger Stone last night,” a spokeperson said in a statement. “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 about him recently and Mr. Trump wants to keep the focus of the campaign on how to Make America Great Again.”
Stone isn’t the only Trump aide who has left the campaign recently amid a racial controversy – Trump recently fired another longtime adviser, Sam Nunberg, after reporters unearthed inflammatory social media posts. Stone, a political gadfly with a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, has his own long history of outrageous and offensive rhetoric.