The narrative in the mainstream media that Vincent Harris, a former digital aide to Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Mitch McConnell, was hired by the Donald J. Trump for president campaign is incorrect.
Two separate Trump aides have confirmed to Breitbart News that despite a Politico report on Tuesday that reports that “Donald Trump has hired Vincent Harris,” Harris was never actually hired by the campaign.
“Vincent was not an employee of the campaign,” one Trump aide said.
“He did subcontractor work and that’s finished up now,” another said. “He was never hired nor fired. He did some project work on a subcontractor basis, and that’s now wrapped up. The current projects are now wrapped up, and he was neither hired nor fired.”
It’s unclear if the Trump campaign plans to continue more projects with the firm Harris is working with or not.
Harris also confirmed he was not actually hired by the campaign proper. “I was hired on a project basis with creative and to help with some graphics, and to help with some different needs that the campaign had,” he said when reached by phone on Wednesday. “So we’ve been doing project work for them and we’re going to hopefully keep doing stuff for them in the future.”
“All I know and all I’m going to say is we’ve been hired to do project work–we’ve been doing a good job at the work we’ve been doing and we hope to keep working with the campaign,” Harris said. “That’s all. There really isn’t anything here.”
Harris had been talking and working with the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) for over a month, almost two months, and he had been in contact with even the Trump family on some matters as recently as this week.
Politico’s Shane Goldmacher and Darren Samuelson reported on Wednesday:
Donald Trump has hired Vincent Harris, the former chief digital strategist for Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 reelection bid, as the presumptive Republican nominee continues to ramp up his digital operations, according to multiple people familiar with the hiring. Trump is hiring not just Harris but the services of his Austin-based firm, Harris Media, these people said. Trump has increasingly begun to focus on his digital operations, particularly fundraising, as he begins to try to build a small-dollar operation to compete with Hillary Clinton.
The piece drags on for several hundred words and walks through Harris’s history on social media.
“Harris has been in the vanguard among Republicans trying to tap into social media and the viral powers of the Internet to amplify a candidate’s message,” the Politico writers wrote. “Harris was an unabashed supporter, for instance, of Paul live-streaming an entire day on the trail.”
It does not say where the story came from, or who was the source, but Harris denied being the source to Breitbart News.
But ultimately, it appears that Harris was never actually hired by the campaign–and the two Trump aides who spoke with Breitbart News were correct. Harris instead was given work on a project-by-project basis through the firm Giles-Parscale–which is based in San Antonio, Texas, and is run by longtime Trump confidante Brad Parscale. Parscale has worked for the campaign since 2015, in its early days, and has worked for the Trump family for years before that.
“We are proud to work on a project basis with the agency of record Giles-Parscale and look forward to continuing to work with the campaign,” Harris said in a follow-up email.
When one Trump aide was asked how this whole thing became a news story, and how Harris’s subcontracting project work somehow turned into him being hired by the campaign when that is not accurate, the aide replied: “I have no idea. This involves neither Donald J. Trump nor Hillary Clinton; therefore I find it a waste of my time.”