Trump campaign announces another major shakeup
The Trump campaign announced Wednesday that Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon has been appointed campaign CEO, temporarily stepping down from his role with Breitbart News to work full-time with the presidential campaign.
A second new hire, Kellyanne Conway, a GOP pollster and campaign strategist, will serve as campaign manager.
“I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years. They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win,” Trump said in a statement. “I believe we’re adding some of the best talents in politics, with the experience and expertise needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in November and continue to share my message and vision to Make America Great Again. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win this election, and ultimately become President because our country cannot afford four more years of the failed Obama-Clinton policies which have endangered our financial and physical security.”
Paul Manafort will remain as campaign chairman and chief strategist, but it’s unclear if he has been effectively demoted from the top leadership role in the campaign that he had played the past few months.
“It is imperative we continue to expand our team with top-tier talent,” Manafort said in a statement. “Steve and Kellyanne are respected professionals who believe in Mr. Trump and his message and will undoubtedly help take the campaign to new levels of success.”
The shakeup comes on the heels of a disastrous series of missteps from the Trump campaign that has resulted in Trump losing what had been as much as a seven-point lead in the polls after the Republican convention to double-digit deficits to Democrat Hillary Clinton in several current polls.
The Huffington Post track of 279 polls has Clinton ahead by 8.6 points, and the FiveThirtyEight.com Now-cast gives Clinton an 88.3 percent chance of winning the election if it were held today, with a projected 351.4 electoral votes, 81 more than needed to win the Electoral College.
The Trump campaign reported on Wednesday that its first major TV ad buy of the general election slated to start later this week.