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Donald Trump elevates a loyal Florida operative to shore up his post-presidency political operation

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 01 Apr 2021

<p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/602d638931eb0600197c3c6a-2400/trump%20flipped.jpg" border="0" alt="trump flipped" data-mce-source="Getty"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Former President Donald Trump has tapped longtime Florida political operative Susie Wiles to help lead his post-White House political operation, Trump advisors familiar with the move tell Insider.</p><p>Wiles was brought in last week to help structure Trump's effort to continue leading the Republican Partyand potentially run for president again in 2024.</p><p>Trump has called Wiles to Mar-a-Lago regularly during the past two months to gauge her interest and test whether she could shore up his operation, Trump advisors told Insider.</p><p>Wiles has a long history as one of the most powerful players in Florida politics. Trump tapped her in 2016 and 2020 to direct his successful Florida campaigns.</p><p>"She is in a position of influence right now," said one Trump advisor familiar with Wiles hiring. "The question is: What direction does Susie take the organization'"</p><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en" data-cards="" data-conversation=""><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Trump Team Florida after Sarasota rally - proud of this team <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Changecoming'src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Changecoming</a> <a href="https://t.co/uNSbPfENJC">pic.twitter.com/uNSbPfENJC</a></p> Susie Wiles (@susie57) <a href="https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/795675560223588352'ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 7, 2016</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><p>Trump's post-White House operation has been beset by infighting typical of Trump's two prior campaigns and his four years in the White House.</p><p>The latest <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-endorsements-congress-house-senate-maga-2021-3">intramural spat</a> involves influence over Trump political endorsements, pitting a tight-knit team led by Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Bill Stepien against Trump advisors outside their orbit.</p><p>Trump advisors were split Wednesday on whether Wiles' entry spells doom for Stepien and his team. Some said her return to Trump's organization is meant to supplement Stepien's work in particular. But others saw a nascent effort to start pushing Stepien out the door.</p><p>Stepien declined a request for comment. Wiles did not return a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.</p><p>Trump, through a spokesperson, denied that he is frustrated with the political operation. Senior advisor Jason Miller called the assertion "100 percent false."</p><p>"Susie has been a great teammate for two successful presidential campaigns in Florida and we're glad to have her join the all-stars already assembled. Watch out 2022!" Miller told Insider Wednesday.</p><p><em><strong>Read more: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-endorsements-congress-house-senate-maga-2021-3">Top MAGA lieutenants tighten their grip on Republicans' golden ticketa Trump endorsementtriggering an internal brawl</a></strong></em></p><p>Trump has spent most of his time since leaving the White House hosting Republican Party leaders at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. There, he's granted audiences to and hosted fundraisers for Republican he hopes will oust GOP lawmakers who supported his impeachment following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.</p><p>Trump and his team have also been eyeing ways to create a social media platform that would give the former president, who Twitter and Facebook banned for his role inciting the January 6 attack, his own social media bullhorn.</p><p>Wiles has been close to Trump for several years. On Election Night, with a Trump re-election victory still possible, <a href="https://twitter.com/susie57/status/1323810051728019456">she tweeted</a>, "This was a historic election in Florida and...a good old fashion ass whooping by President @realDonaldTrump."</p><p>But she also endured a very public falling out with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisanother Trump ally.</p><p>Wiles helped run DeSantis' successful 2018 bid for governor, but an angry <a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/20/trump-desantis-florida-susie-wiles-1504981">DeSantis effectively blacklisted her</a> in Florida politics through much of 2019 amid allegations she was leaking information about a brewing Florida scandal.</p><p>Trump has mentioned DeSantis as a possible future leader of the Republican Party, and GOP operatives are keeping close tabs on him as a front-runner for the 2024 Republican nominationif Trump himself chooses not to run.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-susie-wiles-florida-bill-stepien-2021-3#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-myths-debunked-wuhan-china-2020-2">Epidemiologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths</a></p>
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