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Trump campaign shifts Michael Glassner, top staffer and chief rally organizer, to new role

Communications director Tim Murtaugh claims the move has nothing to do with the disappointing turnout in Oklahoma this month, which left Trump "furious."
Image: Donald Trump Holds MAGA Rally In Johnson City, Tennesee
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tenn., on Oct. 1, 2018.Sean Rayford / Getty Images file

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign is making some changes to its top leadership by shifting Michael Glassner from his current role as chief operating officer into a new role managing its legal fights against news organizations.

Jeff DeWit, an Arizona businessman who has been an avid Trump supporter since the 2016 campaign cycle, will take over Glassner's duties — of which organizing rallies is arguably the most important.

Communications director Tim Murtaugh claimed that the move had nothing to do with the disappointing turnout at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this month, which left Trump "furious."

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"This is not a reaction to Tulsa," Murtaugh told NBC News in a statement. "Michael Glassner is moving into the long-term role of navigating the many legal courses we face, including suits against major media outlets, some of which will likely extend beyond the end of the campaign."

"He is one of the founding members of Team Trump and his dedication to the success of the President is unmatched," Murtaugh said.

Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, is considered the de facto campaign manager, as he is the main conduit between the White House and the campaign's headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia.

Glassner, who has been in charge of rallies for more than three years, is being transferred less than two weeks after the Oklahoma debacle — with only about four months to go until the general election.

However, the Trump campaign has ramped up its legal action against news outlets in recent months, and the move seems to be an indication that the effort may intensify in the coming months.

The news was first reported by Axios.