That’s what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s camp says it told longtime political adviser Roger Stone — but the truth isn’t so clear.
The real estate tycoon told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa Saturday afternoon that he kicked Stone from his inner circle.
After news of the shakeup broke, Stone took to Twitter to say that he had actually resigned from the campaign.
“Sorry @realDonaldTrump didn’t fire me- I fired Trump. Diasagree [sic] with diversion to food fight with @megynkelly away core issue messages,” he tweeted.
Over the phone, Stone told Costa that he decided to leave after weeks of friction with the Donald: “I categorically deny I was fired, and I’ll let my resignation letter speak to the other issues.”
In his letter of resignation, Stone said that Trump’s perpetual quarreling — most recently with Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly — was diverting attention from their central message of restoring national pride and bringing jobs back to the U.S.
“Unfortunately, the current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message. With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign,” he wrote.
Stone, who has known Trump since the 1980s, added that he cares about the GOP front-runner as a friend and that he cares about the fate of the nation. He vowed to stay active in the national debate so that the Oval Office does not fall to the Bush or Clinton families again.
Trump said that Stone was fired because he is “cleaning house” so his run for the White House is free of publicity seekers — another point with which Stone took issue.
“The notion that I somehow need @realDonaldTrump to get publicity for myself is really ,really funny- he should do a google NEWS search,” he wrote on Twitter.