President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was detained by police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday after barricading himself in his home and threatening to harm himself, according to a police statement.
Fort Lauderdale police said they went to Parscale’s home about 4 p.m. local time after receiving a 911 call about an armed man who was threatening suicide. Parscale’s wife told the officers who responded that her husband had access to multiple firearms.
Police established contact with Parscale and negotiated for him to leave the home. He was taken into custody under the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows police to detain people who are potentially a threat to themselves or others.
Parscale, 44, was transported to Broward Health Medical Center, the police said.
Trump replaced Parscale as his campaign manager in July, after a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew sparse crowds despite Parscale’s public assurance that hundreds of thousands of people had requested tickets. Parscale was replaced at the top of the campaign with his deputy, Bill Stepien, but remained as a senior official.
The campaign has been beset by surprising financial distress. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s election effort entered September with $466 million to spend in the final stretch of the campaign, according to financial disclosures, about $141 million more than Trump’s team.
Trump’s campaign has pulled back on television ads in battleground states around the country, allowing Biden to dominate the airwaves. The Washington Post and ABC News published a poll on Sunday showing Biden with a 10-point lead among likely voters, nationally, while a New York Times and Sienna College poll showed Biden with an eight-point lead.
A spokesman for Trump’s campaign, Tim Murtaugh, promptly blamed the president’s political opponents for the incident on Sunday.
“The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to this man and his family,” Murtaugh said in a statement.
“RINO” is an acronym for “Republicans in Name Only,” a term Trump and his supporters use to deride Republicans who have publicly turned against the president.
In May, the Lincoln Project — a group created by dissident Republicans to defeat Trump’s re-election — created an online ad highlighting Parscale’s personal wealth and accusing him of “getting rich” off Trump’s campaigns.
Parscale Strategy, the digital services firm he founded, has taken in $16.9 million from Trump’s campaign, the RNC and two joint fundraising committees that support both entities so far in the 2020 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records. The biggest payments, totaling more than $3.3 million, came in February 2019, but in 2020 the payments have averaged $93,210 a month.
Shortly after Murtaugh’s statement, Stephanie Alexander, the Trump campaign’s chief of staff, sent aides a message asking them to avoid all public comment on Parscale and calling an all-staff meeting for 9 a.m. Monday.
“Brad is a valued and beloved member of our team,” she wrote in the message, obtained by Bloomberg News. “We are thinking of him and supporting him during these times. At this juncture we must respect his privacy and that of his family. Please avoid publicly commenting on an evolving situation.”
Senior White House aides were informed Sunday evening about the incident, according to three people familiar with the matter.
–With assistance from Mario Parker and Josh Wingrove.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.