Top Trump aide Paul Manafort has resigned from the campaign after Wednesday’s huge staff shakeup. Manafort has been savaged in the political press in recent days over reports about his involvement with a Putin-backed political party in Ukraine.
Manafort offered his resignation, and it was quickly accepted by Trump:
“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,” Trump said in a 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 was one of the few veteran presences within the Trump campaign, and is widely credited with helping the egomaniacal New York liberal stave off Ted Cruz’s delegate maneuvering on the tail end of the Republican primary.
Comments from Trump’s son, Eric, make it clear that the former campaign head was pushed out:
“My father just didn’t want to have the distraction looming over the campaign and quite frankly looming over all the issues that Hillary’s facing right now.”
Given the Clinton Foundation’s precarious dealings with foreign governments, Manafort’s own international scandal would have indeed distracted.
Manafort had long clashed with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who exited the campaign after he lost internal control of the operation.
For note, winning campaigns seldom have this much drama.