CBS NEWS: Brad Parscale, digital director for Trump’s campaign, was a critical factor in the president’s election. Now questions surround how he did it
Tonight, you’re going to hear from a 41-year-old man who has remained largely unnoticed even though he was one of the top decision-makers of the Trump campaign.
His name is Brad Parscale. While Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, and Kellyanne Conway are marquee names you’re familiar with, Parscale was in the back room — operating as the campaign’s secret weapon.
Parscale told 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl anyone in the world could have launched ‘bots’ to flood Twitter with pro-Trump messages and the campaign did not coordinate them. He called it a “joke” and a “farce” that the campaign colluded with the Russian Federation in any way. Transcript, via CBS:
Brad Parscale: I understood early that Facebook was how Donald Trump was going to win. Twitter is how he talked to the people. Facebook was going to be how he won.
Lesley Stahl: And Facebook IS how he won.
Brad Parscale: I think so. I think Donald Trump won, but I think Facebook was the method â€“ it was the highway in which his car drove on.
Lesley Stahl: Facebook has admitted that the Russians spent $100,000 — at least $100,000 — on ads to influence the U.S. campaign. Does that bother you?
Brad Parscale: Yeah, I would not want a foreign entity to meddle in our election; you know, a government. Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t want that; I’m American.
But the question is: did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians â€“ and as the digital director, was Parscale involved?
Brad Parscale: I think it’s a joke. Like, at least for my part in it.
Lesley Stahl: Very few people think it’s a joke.
Brad Parscale: I think it’s a joke when they involve myself. ‘Cause I know my own activities, and I know the activities of this campaign. I was there. It’s just a farce.
Lesley Stahl: It’s a farce that you colluded with the Russians?
Brad Parscale: Yeah. It’s just a joke.
What about what happened on Twitter? Which was flooded with pro-Trump tweets generated by robots, or bots.
Lesley Stahl: Did you have a hand in generating these botsâ€”
Brad Parscale: I had nothing to do with bots. I don’t think bots work.
Lesley Stahl: You were called the king of the bots.
Brad Parscale: I know. It’s ridiculous. It’s just the craziest thing ever. No one on our team ever sat down with me and said, “Brad, we should make bots.”
Lesley Stahl: But if– if you see that there are hundreds of thousands of bots floating around with pro-Trump messages, somebody generated it. Where would it come from?
Brad Parscale: I would imagine there were people, everyday people in America, who thought they were trying to help. I don’t know.
Lesley Stahl: If the bots came from the Russians, would you know?
Brad Parscale: Nah.
Lesley Stahl: Do you think it might have?
Brad Parscale: No idea.
Lesley Stahl: Could it have?
Brad Parscale: Could be from anybody in the world.
Read the entire transcript here. …read more