Numerous news outlets are reporting that Donald Trump has shifted leadership of his campaign, and named Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon and pollster Kellyanne Conway as de facto leaders of his campaign.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news:

Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, an outspoken Trump supporter and a former Goldman Sachs banker, will assume the new position of campaign chief executive. At the same time, Mr. Trump also is promoting Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP pollster and strategist, to become campaign manager. Ms. Conway has been a campaign adviser for several weeks.

Longtime Republican operative Paul Manafort, who joined the campaign late in the primary season, remains campaign chairman. But the reset is designed to bulk up a structure that many Republicans have complained wasn’t adequate for the rigors of the general-election campaign….

“I want to win,” Mr. Trump said in an interview Tuesday night in which he disclosed his hires. “That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”

WaPo added:

Trump issued a statement hours later. “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,” he said. “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.” …

In Bannon especially, Trump is turning to an alter ego — a colorful, edgy figure on the right who has worked at Goldman Sachs and made several films, including a documentary about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

Bannon, in phone calls and meetings, has been urging Trump for months to not mount a fall campaign that makes Republican donors and officials comfortable, the aides said. Instead, Bannon has been telling Trump to run more fully as an outsider and an unabashed nationalist.

Trump has listened intently to Bannon and agreed with him, believing that voters will ultimately want a presidential candidate who represents disruption more than a candidate with polished appeal, the aides said.

“I want to win,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal. “That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”

Breitbart News put the announcement on its home page:

This is, in a sense, the inevitable outcome of the Trump campaign.

Trump rose not just on the force of his personality, but on a conservative media machine (what I’ve referred to as “Trumpmedia”) fueled by Breitbart News, Drudge, Hannity, Gateway Pundit and others in social media, which acted as an echo chamber promoting Trump. Breitbart News always was at the center of it, providing the content attacking other Republican candidates particularly on immigration, that then was extrapolated in effect.

Whether that echo chamber can reach beyond a core of Republican voters remains to be seen. It’s not showing up in the polls yet, if it ever does. While hiring Bannon is the logical conclusion of the Trump campaign, it may simply insulate them from reality.

If Trump somehow wins, Trumpmedia will claim the victory as theirs. And in that scenario, they would deserve it.

But if Trump loses in a landslide, as polling now shows is the most likely result, then Trumpmedia and Breitbart News need to own that too. Already there is an attempt to blame a loss on Republicans who don’t support or actively oppose Trump, despite Trump’s inability to stop attacking the Republicans whose support he wants.

I’m glad that Breitbart News now runs the Trump campaign. It’s put out in the open what the reality of the primaries reflected.

Breitbart News and the rest of Trumpmedia need to own the result — good or bad. Having Steve Bannon running the campaign as we approach the key portion of the campaign, which launches after Labor Day, makes the ownership undeniable.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.