Five years after ascending to a national stage, Brad Parscale, the digital strategist from San Antonio that helped put Donald Trump in the White House, has stepped away from the reelection campaign.

Parscale, who, after threatening to harm himself, was taken by police to a hospital Sunday, released a statement to the media outlet Politico that he is leaving his position as senior advisor to the campaign. 

Parscale told the outlet Wednesday he is seeking help for the “overwhelming stress” on him and his family. His wife Candice, who initially called 911, also refuted claims her husband hit her.

The incident that led to Parscale’s arrest and hospitalization over the weekend began when Candice Parscale fled their Fort Lauderdale home and, with the help of a real estate agent who happened to be nearby at the time, called police saying she thought her husband might have shot himself. 

In a recording of the call, the real estate agent can be heard calling attention to the bruises on Candice Parscale’s arms and asking her if Parscale had hit her. Candice Parscale did not audibly answer.

When police arrived, a standoff ensued with Parscale refusing to exit the premises. Candice Parscale told officers her husband was “going crazy” and multiple firearms were inside the home. A body camera video of the incident released by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department shows a barefoot and shirtless Parscale, beer in his hand, walking down his driveway toward an officer following the 3-hour standoff.

In the background, other officers are shouting at Parscale to get on the ground while another officer comes into the frame and tackles Parscale in the street. Parscale repeatedly asserts, “I didn’t do anything” as police handcuff him. Parscale was transported to the Broward Health Medical Center where he was involuntarily admitted for a psychiatric evaluation.

In their report, an officer also reported seeing “large-sized contusions” on Candice Parscale’s arms, cheek, and forehead, and a SWAT team member later stated Candice Parscale told him Parscale hits her.

On Tuesday, Fort Lauderdale police seized all guns and ammunition from Parscale, following a court order. According to Politico, police stated “further investigation has revealed that Mr. Parscale’s drinking and violent behavior increased shortly after he was demoted at his employment.”

After serving as Trump’s campaign manager since February 2018, Parscale was replaced in July, just four months shy of the election. President Trump, trailing Joe Biden in the race according to polls at the time, announced in a tweet that Bill Stepien was replacing his longtime aide, but Parscale would continue as an advisor to the campaign. 

Parscale was working in San Antonio when Trump hired him to create a website for his 2016 campaign. In 2017, Parscale founded a new company, Parscale Strategy, and relocated the business to Florida.

Politico reported that the Parscales have complained about the criticism surrounding Parscale’s tenure as campaign manager, including lavish spending that had emptied coffers and ultimately led to his removal, and that the couple also is suffering from distress over the loss of their twin children, both of whom died prematurely four years ago.

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the business beat reporter at the San Antonio Report.