Stephanie Cegielski, who was the communications director of the Trump-aligned “Make American Great Again” Super PAC before it was dissolved in October 2015, has decried Donald Trump in a column published on XOJane.
“President Trump would be President Sanjaya [Malakar] in terms of legitimacy and authority,” Cegielski wrote Monday, comparing Trump to the fan favorite “American Idol” Season 6 contestant who repeatedly advanced as a joke contestant despite the disapproval of the judges, before ultimately placing seventh.
In the column, which carries the headline “An Open Letter To Trump Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector,” Cegielski said Trump’s candidacy for president began as a protest against the political establishment and has carried on simply as a matter of pride. “He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already — and then some,” Cegielski wrote.
“He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver’s seat, and nothing else matters,” she continued. “The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy.”
Cegielski described how she was a true believer in Trump — she liked that he eschewed guarded political speech in favor of shooting from the hip. “I fell in love with the idea of the protest candidate who was not bought by corporations,” she said. “A man who sat in a Manhattan high-rise he had built, making waves as a straight talker with a business background, full of successes and failures, who wanted America to return to greatness.”
Cegielski, currently an adjunct professor at the New York University School Of Professional Studies, was hired at the Trump Super PAC during the summer of 2015, and she said at that point the Trump campaign didn’t have any real belief he could win. “I am now taking full responsibility for helping create this monster — and reaching out directly to those voters who, like me, wanted Trump to be the real deal,” she wrote.
She said the candidate’s initial goal was to come in second in the Republican primaries with a double-digit percentage in the polls — not lofty aspirations. Cegielski further described a recurring cycle in which Trump would say something that would typically be considered a gaffe, only to see his poll numbers rise afterward.
After the Super PAC was dissolved — a purely political maneuver, according to Cegielski, but one she approved of at the time even though it cost her a job — she continued to back the candidate, but over time that support waned.
Stripped of a professional need to prop him up, she said, the luster on Trump’s straight talk began to fade. And after several months, she said she came to the realization that instead of being the best candidate for president, “He is the best at looking out for Donald Trump — at all costs.”