By Bonnie K. Goodman
Two days after a shake-up of Trump’s campaign leadership, campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned from his post. Manafort resigned on Friday morning, Aug. 19, 2016, and Trump issued a statement confirming the resignation. Manafort is increasingly coming under fire for his past lobbying work for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political operative and possible corruption probe. Trump and his former chairman have been odds since the Republican National Convention. On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Trump essentially demoted Manafort giving him more of a background role in his campaign.
Trump issued a statement on Friday confirming Manafort was leaving, saying, “This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”
Opponent Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, was quick to attack Trump, tying him to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in a statement, expressed, “You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin.”
Conway later admitted that Manafort was forced out of the campaign. In an interview with WABC’s Rita Cosby, Conway revealed, “He was asked, and he indeed tendered his resignation today.” Continuing Trump’s new campaign manager recounted, “Mr. Trump accepted his resignation and wished him well and thanked him for his service. I think it’s as simple as that. The last couple weeks have been very rough with the campaign.” Conway also called it a “mutual and a very mutually respectful decision.”
On Wednesday, Trump names Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon as campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager in an attempted to reboot his controversy dogged campaign. With just three months to go in the campaign Trump has been lagging the polls behind opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump and his family, particularly son-in-law Jared Kushner blamed Manafort with what is wrong with the campaign and wanted him out.
Initially, Manafort was hired in March towards the end of the primary to help mold Trump into a traditional presidential candidate; he then took the helm after Trump let go his original campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Campaign staffers were shocked and were not informed in advance of Manafort’s departure. Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, however, will remain a part of the campaign serving as the campaign’s liaison to the Republican National Committee.