Two days after the Trump campaign bolstered its team talents, bringing in Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon and pollsert Kellyanne Conway, Paul Manafort has resigned as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, the campaign announced in a statement Friday morning.
More via The Hill:
The moves were seen as a de facto demotion for Manafort, even though the campaign stressed that he was keeping his position at the time.
“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,” Trump said in the statement.
“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.”
Manafort had already been dominating headlines on his own lately, as questions were raised about his work he did for a Ukrainian political party with close ties to Russia. Never mind Hillary Clinton’s own campaign’s ties, of course, such as those of her campaign chair John Pedestal, which we reported here.
Stephen Bannon remains campaign chief executive and Kellyanne Conway campaign manager, per the announcement earlier this week.
While one can expect much of the media to portray Manafort’s departure as another death knell for the Trump candidacy, one can’t help but wonder how much Manafort’s own connections — increasingly a distraction — played a role, as Fox News pointed out.
The Washington Post notes a close associate of Manafort reports he is leaving on good terms with the campaign, and continues to support Trump, the friend added.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]