Another top NRA staffer departs amid upheaval

By Alex Isenstadt
The move comes one month after Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief political architect, resigned.

The turmoil at the National Rifle Association continues to build, with Jennifer Baker, the organization’s longtime director of public affairs, stepping down from her post.

Baker’s departure, which was confirmed by several people familiar with the matter, could further complicate the group’s ability to play in the 2020 election. She had been playing a key role in mapping out the NRA’s electoral strategy.

The move comes one month after Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief political architect, resigned. Cox had deep relationships with Republican political class, and with his exit many of the party’s top strategists have expressed concern that the organization will be severely hamstrung heading into the presidential election. The NRA plays a major role in turning out gun owners, and many in the party are worried that the group will be less effective in 2020.

The NRA has long been a centerpiece of the Republican Party ecosystem. But the organization has found itself in intense chaos in recent months, confronting embarrassing tales of self-dealing at its highest levels of leadership, a failed coup attempt and an investigation by the New York attorney general into its tax-exempt status.

An NRA spokesman declined to comment on the latest exit.

Baker, who has worked at the pro-gun group for the last six years, was a part of Cox’s inner circle and was among those who helped to orchestrate the NRA’s 2016 offensive backing Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton.

Jason Ouimet, a former head of federal affairs at the NRA, has been tapped as a temporary replacement for Cox.