After testing positive for COVID-19 less than three weeks ago, Kimberly Guilfoyle, the president’s national finance chair and Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, is back to events at the White House. This week, she met with President Trump, and shared photos on Instagram from the virtual fundraising event that she helped to host on Tuesday, which drew in $20 million largely from small-dollar donors.
But after seemingly recovering from coronavirus, Guilfoyle is now under fire for. She’s also under fire for causing havoc within the finance campaign for Trump’s reelection. Under her leadership, the team has seen three staffers leave and transfer to different positions, citing the culture of the initiative untenable, according to reporting from Politico. After upheaval stemming from workers leaving, more aides explained they felt deserted and scared after Guilfoyle’s positive test. Guilfoyle flew from Mt. Rushmore back to New York on a private flight after learning she tested positive — and left more than half a dozen junior staffers alone with no other direction than to fully quarantine.
Her actions have subsequently created concerns about how efficiently she’s able to oversee a team given her prior experience. After leaving Fox before the 2018 midterm elections, she campaigned with Donald Trump Jr. and served as the vice chairwoman of America First Action, a pro-Trump super Political Action Committee (PAC). From there, she was picked as a senior advisor for the Trump campaign. Guilfoyle officially took on the role of finance chair this February.
Now, her unit of the campaign is responsible for raising money for Trump Victory — a combined effort between the Republican National Committee and the reelection campaign. But according to reports, Republicans familiar with the campaign’s fundraising have blamed Guilfoyle’s lack of leadership skill for Trump's campaign falling behind Joe Biden’s for two consecutive months. The team, which is focused on collecting small checks from donors up to $2,800 as well as donations that stretch into the hundreds of thousands range, has questioned Guilfoyle's personal spending, including private air travel to events.
Despite complaints from some, Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chair told Politico that, “Kimberly is one of the president’s strongest and hardest-working advocates, and he is lucky to have her fighting in his corner.” Her public missteps could yet cause blowback from within the Trump campaign, but there's been no comment from the Trumps about allegations of upheaval. Guilfoyle may still have time to prove herself, following in the tradition of many Trump staffers, and failing up.