Trump’s election challenge is continuing, but the campaign is already shedding staff

Two days after Joe Biden was declared the winner in the presidential election, President Trump and his allies have vowed to keep on fighting, but his campaign team has already let go of some staff and isn’t extending others beyond this week, multiple sources told Yahoo News. 

“They just laid off people,” a former Trump campaign adviser said Monday.

Another source familiar with the campaign told Yahoo News they were unaware of layoffs, but knew many staffers who were not being extended beyond this week and next.

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DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 4: Election challengers demand to enter to observe the absentee ballots counting but were dined after the room reached capacity during the 2020 general election in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

An elections worker rubs his head in the closing hours where absentee ballots were processed at the central counting board, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Police block off traffic at the entrance to the central counting board where ballots in the general election are counted in the city at the tcf Center in Detroit, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Election challengers, left, wait outside after an election official, right, closed the door to the central counting board, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. Officials were saying the challenger quotas were met by Republicans, Democrats and Independent observers. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Betsy Camardo, who supports Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, holds a sign outside the central counting board where ballots in the general election are counted in the city at the TCF Center in Detroit, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Absentee ballots are processed at the central counting board, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Biden supporter Maceo Rhodes, left, debates with Trump supporter Bill Boring outside the central counting board where ballots in the general election are counted in the city at the TCF Center in Detroit, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

People attend a rally calling for every vote to be counted from yesterday’s general election near the Detroit Department of Elections building in Detroit, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Dorothy Hawkins, from left, Nia Winston and Zinnia Patcas, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, look on their phones as news breaks that Wisconsin is called for Biden during a rally calling for very cote to be counted near the Detroit Department of Elections building in Detroit, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 04: Pro-President Donald Trump and pro-Joe Biden protesters argue outside the TCF Center as votes continue to be counted on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. With ballots still being counted in Michigan, the Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit to temporarily stop the counting until the campaign can gain “meaningful access” to the processing. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

Protesters hold “Count every vote” signs outside of the TCF center where ballots are being counted in downtown Detroit, Michigan on November 4,2020. – Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden on November 4 neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with several battleground states still in play, as incumbent President Donald Trump challenged the vote count. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather outside TCF Center where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted, on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. – Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden on November 4 neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with several battleground states still in play, as incumbent President Donald Trump challenged the vote count. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 04: A police officer separates protesters after an altercation erupted outside of the TCF center in Detroit as votes continue to be counted inside on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. With ballots still being counted in Michigan, the Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit to temporarily stop the counting until the campaign can gain “meaningful access” to the processing. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

Supporters of US President Donald Trump gesture and chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted at TCF Center on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. – Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden on November 4 neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with several battleground states still in play, as incumbent President Donald Trump challenged the vote count. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

A police officer gestures to supporters of US President Donald Trump gathered outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted at TCF Center on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. – Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden on November 4 neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with several battleground states still in play, as incumbent President Donald Trump challenged the vote count. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of US President Donald Trump gesture and chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted at TCF Center on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. – Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden on November 4 neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with several battleground states still in play, as incumbent President Donald Trump challenged the vote count. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of President Donald Trump pause for prayer during a rally outside the Maricopa County Recorders Office, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

President Donald Trump supporters rally, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, outside the Maricopa County Recorders Office in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

President Donald Trump supporters kneel as they rally, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, outside the Maricopa County Recorders Office in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

President Trump supporters gather for a voters rights rally, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at the Capitol in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 04: President Donald Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 4, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The rally was organized after yesterday’s vote narrowly turned for Democrats in the presidential and senate races. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 04: President Donald Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 4, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The rally was organized after yesterday’s vote narrowly turned for Democrats in the presidential and senate races. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 04: President Donald Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 4, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The rally was organized after yesterday’s vote narrowly turned for Democrats in the presidential and senate races. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)




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“I’ve heard a lot of people have just one week left,” the source said, adding that those staffers were getting their “last paycheck.”

It’s standard operating procedure for presidential campaigns to let staff go after the election, particularly people involved in work like hosting live events, which are typically no longer needed once all the votes are cast. “Every campaign has a sell by date, even successful ones,” a Republican source said.

President Donald Trump waves to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“This is why campaign life is the best and also worst job ever,” the source said. 

But, in this case, Trump and senior members of the campaign team have insisted this election is not over, potentially making the loss of staff more consequential. The campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

As part of his effort to keep the election going, President Trump, who has falsely declared himself the winner and made baseless allegations of widespread “fraud,” has had lawyers for his campaign file multiple legal challenges and demanded recounts. 

On Monday evening, Trump’s team held a press conference where White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who is also a spokesperson for the campaign, declared, “we want every legal vote to be counted and we want every illegal vote to be discarded.”

The former Trump campaign adviser attributed the need to shed staff to the fact the operation is “dry on cash.” In the final months of the election, heavy spending by Trump’s team eroded a financial advantage he was expected to have over Biden. During the past few days, the campaign has aggressively raised funds in support of its election challenges. 

Supporters of President Donald Trump stage a rally outside the Utah State Capitol Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by a historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A second former Trump campaign adviser said they knew “senior people” on the team would be “sticking around another couple weeks.” They suggested the team could survive cuts and still have what it needed to make legal challenges and push for recounts.

“You can probably trim down the operation and still be legit,” the source said. 

However, the Republican source, who described post-election layoffs as a normal part of campaign life, had questions about the scope of the campaign’s challenge efforts even before layoffs. The source noted Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the Republican nominee in 2012, had a robust operation for a potential challenge that year with a team of election lawyers and planes on standby to take them to key states. 

In contrast, the source accused the Trump’s campaign of having “zero planning” with “no legit poll watching or recount plans” and staffers appearing on TV to make wild and baseless allegations rather than a serious team of lawyers and experts.

“Waving around the political equivalent of a bloody rag is no substitute for legitimate planning,” the Republican source said.

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