In preparation for Cleveland and beyond, Donald Trump has hired a leading veteran campaign operative for a senior position on his inner-circle team.
The Trump campaign announced on Wednesday the addition of Rick Wiley as National Political Director. He joins GOP strategist Paul Manafort, who was hired last month to manage the campaign’s delegate operations and summer convention plans.
Wiley is a seasoned professional, with over two decades of experience in state and national politics. He served as campaign manager for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during his brief presidential race. He also served as deputy national political director for Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign, and ran the RNC’s operations in Wisconsin for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election.
In addition, Wiley once worked for Reince Priebus as the GOP national political director, where he oversaw a $178 million budget, and worked with Joni Ernst’s campaign in Iowa.
The Washington Post reported that Wiley will work out of a new office Trump is opening in Washington DC, in order to “use his relationships with party leaders to build bridges on Trump’s behalf.” Reportedly, Trump’s senior campaign staff will be meeting Thursday morning with several lawmakers on Capitol Hill – some who have endorsed Trump and others who have not but are interested in his message.
In a public statement, Wiley said, “Voters are frustrated with the political status quo in our country and are hungry for an outsider to shake up Washington. Donald Trump has energized millions of hard working people across the country with his no-nonsense straight talk and will bring his record of success to tackle the real problems that face our nation.”
Trump has directed Wiley to beef up the campaign’s field operations in states which have upcoming primaries, including California. The Trump team is already seriously preparing for a general-election campaign after Cleveland.