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RFK Jr. campaign fires staffer who said defeating Biden was her 'No. 1 priority'

The Kennedy campaign said Rita Palma's contract was terminated for "misrepresentation" in a video discussing how the independent candidate could block Biden's re-election.
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to the media at a Cesar Chavez Day event at Union Station on March 30, 2024 in Los Angeles.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign said it fired a staffer over controversial remarks about defeating Joe Biden.Mario Tama / Getty Images

A campaign staffer for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential bid has been fired after a video recently circulated of her talking about preventing President Joe Biden’s re-election by trying to send the race to the House of Representatives to potentially elect former President Donald Trump.

In a Wednesday night post to X, Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, RFK Jr.’s campaign manager and daughter-in-law, said the campaign had fired New York-based staffer Rita Palma’s contract “for misrepresentation immediately upon seeing the longer video in which she gave an inaccurate job title and described a conversation that did not happen.”

Palma confirmed her termination from the campaign in a text message to NBC News, saying her time with RFK Jr.'s campaign "has been one of the best political adventures of my life filled with some of the finest people I’ve encountered, and I have encountered many."

"I hold no ill will and look forward to the next seven months of watching Bobby shine," she said.

Palma, who has long criticized vaccine mandates, had come under scrutiny over a recently uploaded video, obtained by NBC News, of a presentation she gave to try to sway Republican voters to help Kennedy qualify for New York’s presidential ballot. In the video, Palma said she is the campaign’s New York state director, which the campaign disputed, calling her a “ballot access consultant” uninvolved in electoral strategy.

In the video, Palma said she had campaigned for Trump in 2016 and 2020, but he had “lost” her because of “the vaccines.” She also described Biden as the “mutual enemy” of voters for Trump and Kennedy and said it was her “No. 1 priority” for Biden to lose the election.

“Whether you support Bobby or Trump, we all oppose Biden. And my thoughts are that, you know, that’s the No. 1 priority in the country,” Palma said.

Palma raised the idea of trying to deprive Biden of victories in Democratic strongholds like New York while national Democrats focus on key swing states that usually determine elections, with the goal of stopping either Biden or Trump from getting to 270 Electoral College votes. That would put the election into the hands of the GOP-led House.

A 36-minute version of the video was obtained by NBC News from a source who downloaded it before it was removed from YouTube. The source told NBC News that the description for the video on YouTube said it occurred at a church in Poughkeepsie and that it was uploaded to the platform Friday.