Since the beginning, political pundits have marveled how much Donald Trump’s campaign has achieved, relying on Trump’s innate ability as a media magnet and the abilities of a very small team of close associates with little political experience.
As the stakes get higher and Ted Cruz makes inroads (actually winning more delegates than Trump since Marco Rubio dropped out), it appears Trump’s modus is about to shift — as he would say, “big league.”
Politico reports, Looking to resolve a growing power struggle within his campaign, Donald Trump announced Thursday he is expanding the role of Paul Manafort, the senior adviser recently hired to assist with corralling delegates ahead of what will likely be a contested GOP convention in July.
Hours after appearing to cancel a Friday press conference that had been scheduled in the Los Angeles area, Trump’s campaign issued a statement that he is “consolidating the functions related to the nomination process and assigning them to” Manafort, who “will oversee, manage, and be responsible for all activities that pertain to Mr. Trump’s delegate process and the Cleveland Convention.”
According to multiple sources, Manafort has been frustrated since joining the campaign by the lack of cooperation from Lewandowski and his closest associates on the campaign.
Some Trump supporters, concerned that Lewandowski and his team have failed to lock up bound delegates even in states they have won, have been calling for leadership changes in recent days as the campaign is confronting increasingly difficult delegate math and staring at a floor fight in Cleveland.
Trump, who has kept his inner circle very small and emerged as the front-runner for the nomination despite his refusal to invest in building a more traditional campaign infrastructure, is in the process of expanding his operation now with roughly three months until the convention that will likely decide the nomination. He plans to “announce several new hires and promotions within the campaign” in the next few weeks, according to his campaign.
Is there trouble brewing for Lewandowski? Trump has been steadfast in his support of Lewandowski in the wake of “Grabgate” but the campaign manager may be facing a harsh tug backwards himself very soon.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]