In a sign of the deep divisions within Donald Trump's presidential campaign, a senior campaign adviser on Monday appeared to publicly celebrate the firing of Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
The jubilant tweet -- "Ding dong the witch is dead!" -- doesn't mention Lewandowski by name, but the meaning seems clear enough.
The adviser, Michael Caputo, is Trump's campaign manager for the state of New York.
It's rare for a member of a political campaign to react with public glee to the ouster of a colleague. But Lewandowski was notoriously hot-tempered and difficult to work with. It was no secret that Lewandowski objected to Trump's hiring in March of veteran Washington lobbyist Paul Manafort to lead the campaign. Lewandoski and Manafort had been locked in a months-long battle for power, which it appears Manafort has won.
Lewandowski was fired Monday morning during a weekly staff meeting, according to numerous reports. The decision was sudden -- just hours before he was fired, Lewandowski had reportedly been on a call with Republican National Committee staff.
The Trump campaign released a statement praising its former manager.
"The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign," spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in the statement. "The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future."
The staff shakeup comes as Trump is struggling to unify the Republican Party around his campaign. The past six weeks have been dismal for the candidate, amid controversies over his racially tinged attacks on a federal judge and Trump's response to the Orlando massacre, which many people viewed as callous.
Lewandowski made national news earlier this year, when Michelle Fields, then a reporter for Breitbart, filed assault charges after Lewandowski grabbed her arm and shoved her at a Trump event in Florida. Fields left Breitbart shortly afterward. In May, she joined The Huffington Post as a contributing reporter.
Caputo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE: 5:00 p.m. -- Caputo resigned his position with the Trump campaign late Monday afternoon because, he said, his tweet had become "a distraction."
"I regret sending out a tweet today alluding to the firing of Corey Lewandowski," Caputo wrote in a letter to Manafort and Rick Gates, a business partner of Manafort who has also joined the campaign.
"In hindsight, that was too exuberant a reaction to this personnel move," Caputo wrote. "I know this is a distraction from the kind of campaign you want to run, so I'm resigning my position as director of communications for caucus operations at the 2016 Republican Convention."
Caputo's letter was first reported by CNN.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist