Brad Parscale, the former Trump campaign manager who was demoted in July, claimed in a Fox News interview on Tuesday night that President Trump would have handily won the election if he had expressed more empathy about the coronavirus pandemic.
“We lost suburban families,” Mr. Parscale said. “I think that goes to one thing: the decision on Covid to go for opening the economy versus public empathy.”
He added, “I think if he had been publicly empathetic, he would have won.”
Mr. Parscale also appeared to blame those who succeeded him in running Mr. Trump’s campaign for failing to file lawsuits before Election Day. In fact, the campaign filed multiple lawsuits during the early voting period seeking to block mail-in ballot rule changes.
“I wanted lawyers everywhere,” Mr. Parscale said. “Why, during the early voting days, why weren’t they already getting in there and filing lawsuits? Why are we doing it post?”
At other points in the interview, Mr. Parscale refused to concede that the president had lost the election, claiming that Mr. Trump was “in a position that he might be able to pull this off.”
Mr. Parscale has kept a low profile since September, when he was hospitalized after his wife, Candice, called the police saying he was in his house with guns and threatening to hurt himself. According to a police report, Ms. Parscale also said her husband had bruised her arms during ”a physical altercation.” She later walked back the claim of domestic abuse.
Since that episode, which was caught on police body camera footage, Mr. Parscale has claimed he wants to go back to a simpler, more private life flipping real estate. He has told friends he wants to leave politics. Current and former Trump officials on Tuesday interpreted Mr. Parscale’s re-emergence as an attempt to increase the value of a memoir he is also trying to sell and to ingratiate himself with the president.
Mr. Parscale said in the Fox interview that he had not spoken to Mr. Trump recently, and that the fracturing of their relationship was “pretty hurtful.”
“I gave every inch of my life to them,” he said of the Trump family. “Every inch.”
At another point in the interview, he claimed that he was a “semi-quasi campaign manager” during Mr. Trump’s winning 2016 campaign, alongside Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. In fact, Kellyanne Conway, a former White House official, was the president’s campaign manager four years ago.
“The worst thing to ever do was to break us two up,” Mr. Parscale said of his relationship with Mr. Kushner, claiming that the president’s son-in-law was also “slightly sidelined” after his demotion.
Addressing the altercation in September for the first time, Mr. Parscale hinted at strains in his marriage but did not address the abuse allegation. Martha MacCallum, the Fox News host who conducted the interview, did not ask him about it.
“We lost two children during the election,” Mr. Parscale said, referring to the death of their twins in 2016. “We were completely attacked by the left, the right, the media. And I got to a bad place.”
He said that he and his wife had “never been happier,” adding, “I’m just glad I moved on.”