Matt Lewis
Politico's Ben Smith reports,

John McCain's campaign asked a prominent Republican consultant, Craig Shirley, to leave his official campaign role Thursday after a Politico inquiry about Shirley's dual role consulting for the campaign and for an independent "527" group opposing the Democratic presidential candidates.
I'm told by a reliable source that Shirley was not asked to leave.  Instead, he was given the choice and decided to stay with the 527.  This makes sense, inasmuch as the 527 probably pays more.  In addition, Shirley's specialty was conservative outreach -- something McCain was perhaps more worried about before he won the nomination.

Update:  I just spoke to Shirley and according to him:
"We haven't been on a retainer with McCain for two months, which begs the question -- how could we be asked to be a part of something we hadn't been involved in for two months?"

Update:  I believe the original Politico headline was titled something like:  "McCain ousts consultant" -- which was factually true, but, perhaps, misleading.  The headline now reads "McCain adviser outsted in conflict uproar."  ... Upon reading the Politico piece more closely, it is clear that the story isn't about a consultant being fired, but about a consultant being asked to leave his official campaign role (which was part of the Virginia Leadership Team) -- a small detail that makes a big difference.  I am still waiting for the McCain people to get back to me on this ...

Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis is conservative writer and blogger based in Alexandria, VA.

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