Former Trump strategist calls him 'presidential equivalent of Sanjaya' on 'American Idol'

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Stephanie Cegielski, who was the communications director of the Trump-aligned "Make American Great Again" Super PAC before it was dissolved in October 2015, has decried Donald Trump in a column published on XOJane.

"President Trump would be President Sanjaya [Malakar] in terms of legitimacy and authority," Cegielski wrote, comparing Trump to the fan favorite "American Idol" Season 6 contestant who repeatedly advanced despite the disapproval of the judges, before ultimately placing seventh.

In the column, which carries the headline reads "An Open Letter To Trump Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector," Cegielski said Trump's candidacy for president began as a protest against the political establishment and has carried on simply as a matter of pride. "He doesn't want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He's achieved that already — and then some," Cegielski wrote.

"He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver's seat, and nothing else matters," she continued. "The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy."

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Former Trump strategist calls him 'presidential equivalent of Sanjaya' on 'American Idol'
TOPSHOT - People rally as they take part in a protest against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A woman holds a sign during a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People clash with protesters while they take part in a march against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Protesters stand in the crowd of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump supporters as Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trump visits Arizona for the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - MARCH 19: Protesters filter into the crowd of Trump supporters during a campaign rally at Fountain Park on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trumps visit to Arizona is the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trumps visit to Arizona is the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 19: Protesters filter into the crowd of Trump supporters during a campaign rally at Fountain Park on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trumps visit to Arizona is the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trump visits Arizona for the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
A supporter for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gives the thumbs down sign to a fellow Sanders' supporter wearing a Donald Trump mask during a campaign rally, Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
A contingent of Black Lives Matter protesters try to shout down Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A woman holds a sign during a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally as they take part in a protest against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: A NYPD officer tries to keep an eye on protesters while they take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People march while they take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
A man is taken into custody during an anti Donald Trump protest, Saturday, March 19, 2016, in New York. Several hundred demonstrators gathered in New York City to protest Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New York Police officers(NYPD) walk among a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19, 2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: A man falls down as NYPD officers try to arrest protesters while they take part in demonstrations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People march while they take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: NYPD officers arrest a protester while they take part in a demonstrations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
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Cegielski described how she was a true believer in Trump — she liked that he eschewed guarded political speech in favor of shooting from the hip. "I fell in love with the idea of the protest candidate who was not bought by corporations," she said. "A man who sat in a Manhattan high-rise he had built, making waves as a straight talker with a business background, full of successes and failures, who wanted America to return to greatness."

Cegielski, currently an adjunct professor at the New York University School Of Professional Studies, was hired at the Trump Super PAC during the summer of 2015, and she said at that point the Trump campaign didn't have any real belief he could win. She said the goal was to come in second in the Republican primary with a double-digit percentage in the polls — not lofty aspirations. Cegielski further described a recurring cycle in which Trump would say something that would typically be considered a gaffe, only to see his poll numbers rise afterward.

After the Super PAC was dissolved — a purely political maneuver, according to Cegielski, but one she approved of at the time even though it cost her a job — she remained a supporter, but over time that support waned. Stripped of a professional need to prop him up, she said, the luster on Trump's straight talk began to fade. And after several months, she said she came to the realization that instead of being the best candidate for president, "He is the best at looking out for Donald Trump — at all costs."

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