National political reporter Robert Costa of The Washington Post gives his reasons why Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort resigned on Friday.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 19, 2016
The following is the Trump campaign’s statement on the resignation:
Trump statement on Manafort resignation pic.twitter.com/pRzXOC4nWx
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 19, 2016
The news comes amidst a Trump campaign shakeup that saw the elevation of longtime Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager and the acquisition of Breitbart CEO Stephen K. Bannon as the new campaign chairman.
Manafort is another Trump campaign adviser to resign under media scrutiny. Former adviser Corey Lewandowski resigned in June after a kerfuffle with former Breitbart journalist Michelle Fields. About the same time, adviser Michael Caputo resigned after tweeting out “Ding dong the witch is dead!” about Hillary Clinton.
As reported earlier, Manafort has been taking heavy fire for his dealings in Ukraine, particularly with his assistance to Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych.
In the absence of permission from the Department of Justice, Manafort provided counsel to a pro-Russian party in Ukraine, which staged anti-NATO demonstrations and pushed for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
As Costa reports, Manafort, who came on as a convention expert, voluntarily left the campaign in order to assist the Trump election bid from the outside.
Manafort has been a strong hand guiding Trump’s attempt to pivot towards a presidential campaign that is more scripted. The Trump campaign’s addition of Bannon signals the GOP candidate is likely to run a nationalist and aggressive campaign in the coming months.