NEW YORK: Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, resigned yesterday under fire over a Ukrainian corruption investigation and after being sidelined in a reshuffle as the Republican nominee struggles to reverse sinking poll numbers. The departure of the smooth-talking seasoned strategist, who has advised Republican presidential candidates going back to Gerald Ford, follows weeks of Trump missteps that have flung his White House campaign into crisis.
“This morning, Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,” Trump said in a statement, thanking him for “his great work” and hailing him a “true professional”. Manafort’s exit coincides what supporters call a new era in the Trump campaign following the appointment Wednesday of a rightwing news executive as CEO and the promotion of a respected pollster to campaign manager.
Trump initially recruited Manafort, who formerly advised Ukrainian ex-president Viktor Yanukovych and lobbied for foreign dictators, to head off in March what was then a potentially contested Republican convention. It marked his first return to top-level Republican politics in 20 years – having been reportedly passed over in 2008 by John McCain, who was allegedly alarmed by his unsavory lobbying clientele. – AFP