Wednesday, news that Breitbart Chair Steve Bannon would be running the Trump show (officially) broke the internet. Not twenty-four hours ago, the Trump campaign refused to answer questions about the campaign’s staffing shakeup. This morning, Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort resigned.
“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. 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,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump’s camp framed the moves as an expansion rather than a shakeup, but they were widely seen as a demotion for Manafort, who has come under fire for his ties to pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs.
In a statement Wednesday, Manafort hailed the additions as “respected professionals” who “will undoubtedly help take the campaign to new levels of success.”
Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski resigned in June. Kellyanne Conway, Republican pollster is Trump’s third campaign manager, while Breitbart’s Steve Bannon will function as the campaign’s chief executive.
Wednesday, the Associated Press reported Manafort’s alleged ties to foreign, pro-Russian, lobbying dollars:
Donald Trump’s campaign chairman helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.
The revelation, provided to The Associated Press by people directly knowledgeable about the effort, comes at a time when Trump has faced criticism for his friendly overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It also casts new light on the business practices of campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Under federal law, U.S. lobbyists must declare publicly if they represent foreign leaders or their political parties and provide detailed reports about their actions to the Justice Department. A violation is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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