It’s been a tough week for Donald Trump. He keeps hearing the phrase “Hillary Clinton landslide” reported again and again. Then there was the awkward moment where his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was accused of accepting millions in cash from the Ukraine.
Yesterday, Rolling Stone Magazine reported that 123 members of the GOP defected from Presidential nominee Donald Trump and signed another massive letter to Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus asking him to dump Trump. To top the week off, and it’s only Wednesday, 83 days away from election day, CNN reports the Trump campaign underwent a major reshuffling, and Paul Manafort has been benched.
It’s not looking good for Donald Trump. Today’s news that the Trump camp has undergone a major shakeup only underlines this. It’s not bad enough that this is happening less than three months before election day, but it’s also the second time in two months that he’s made some new hires in top tier positions.
Will Trump’s new hires make America forget that the GOP has made a massive defection from Trump fever? Will the new hires make America forget that his campaign chair has recently been exposed as reportedly accepting millions in cash from the Ukraine? Will the new hires stop the bleeding of Trump in the polls in key swing states where Hillary Clinton is holding a double digit lead?
Most pundits today are saying that it’s not likely, and it’s a Band-Aid solution at best. Today, CNN reports the Trump camp tried to put another Band-Aid on some very big bleeds.
This time around, the Band-Aid solution comes in the form of two new top-tier hires in the Trump campaign. Kellyanne Conway has been a pollster for the Trump campaign, and today she was promoted to campaign manager.
Also new to the table is Stephen Bannon, chairman for Breitbart News, who takes the position of Trump Campaign Chief Executive Officer. It’s a pairing at the top level that is expected to come with some clashing, but that doesn’t come as a surprise.
One source in the Trump camp told Politico on the condition of anonymity that Breitbart has not just been a long time supporter of Trump’s, but, “If you counted all the lipstick on Trump’s backside, most of it would be Breitbart red.”
Those loyal to Trump fever do not consider this a shakeup in the Trump camp at all. It’s being touted as an “expansion.” But it is a little weird that this change came down just two days after a New York Times report that current Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort took millions from the Ukraine in cash.
In the wake of this Trump camp shakeup, Paul Manafort has been benched, reports CNN. Although he has kept his job, he is being sidelined to work with the Washington base. It’s a bit of a weird move considering Manafort’s reputation as winning Presidential elections precedes him from the Ukraine.
The Guardian reports that Manafort is known for helping people that are sliding in the polls, at least in the Ukraine. He is considered to be largely responsible for stealing the election for Viktor Yanukovych, who in 2004 tried to “cheat his way…in the Presidential election,” according to The Guardian.
Then came Paul Manafort. All of a sudden, Yanukovych’s polls started to rise until he won. The Guardian reports that Paul Manafort’s response to the New York Times allegations was to deny misdeeds, saying, “I have never received a single off the books cash payment…nor have I ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia.”
It’s peculiar wording. He never received an off the books cash payment? And denying that he worked for politics in the Ukraine seems a little disingenuous.
He definitely worked there. The New York Times article was pretty clear. Paul Manafort’s personal items were still in the Ukraine office he used as recently as May. Senior political commentator for CNN, David Axelrod, has an interesting comeback to Paul Manafort’s flat denial.
This isn’t the first time that we have heard about the connections between the Trump camp and Russia. During the political conventions this summer that launched the General Election, the words “Russia” and “hacking” kept coming up. Donald Trump even encouraged Russia, an enemy of the United States, to get involved in the general election.
It was here where his campaign began to slip. While this was happening, the Democratic National Committee was reportedly doing their own research. The name Paul Manafort kept coming up as someone to look into.
Strange things happen to journalists when they are trying to uncover corruption. Sometimes those are dangerous things. Sometimes they are just plain weird.
Journalist Alexandra Chalupa has one of those weird stories that occurred long before this week’s report on Paul Manafort came out. She has been serving as a consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Alexandra’s journalist sister Andrea Chalupa says, thanks to the infamous Russian hacking of the DNC, “everybody knows just how dangerous Paul Manafort really is.” Watch this interview with Alexandra where she chronicles some of the strange things that happened when she started investigating Paul Manafort.
Is anybody surprised that Paul Manafort has been benched? He keeps his job. He just doesn’t get to do any of the fun stuff anymore, like fly on the Trump airline that Donald Trump pretends is called #airforceone.
It’s not the only major shakeup for the Trump campaign this week. Rolling Stone Magazine reports that one day after this news of Paul Manafort broke, 123 Republicans signed an open letter to Reince Priebus of the Republican National Committee (RNC) telling him to withdraw funding from the Trump Campaign.
The Republicans are scared. Not only does it look like Trump is going to lose the election, but they are also very worried that key House and Senate seats which should be easy for the GOP to win may be lost. The GOP asked the RNC to take the money from Trump and spend it on those races that need desperate attention.
The reason? The infamous Trump temperament.
The letter is not just a petty note signed as a petition either. Rolling Stone has the full 15-page-letter signed by 123 Republicans using words like “disqualifying elements of Trump’s personality” and “plummeting support.”
They call him divisive, reckless, incompetent, and refer to his “record-breaking unpopularity.” Even the GOP is using the phrase “Democratic landslide.” They refer to the vulnerable seats in both the Senate and the House that Trump is putting at risk. But the highlight of the letter is a neat bullet point list of Trump’s biggest problems.
They cite the infamous second amendment people problem, the nuclear button problem, the ignorance of foreign policy problem, and even “deliberately and repeatedly lying about scores of issues large and small.”
Ok, we are out, seems to be the message of the GOP. They say every dollar wasted on Donald Trump is a dollar that could be spent on a GOP race for the House or the Senate. These are races that they say have been “actively undermined” by Donald Trump.
It’s a sad day for the GOP when they are using the phrase “Democratic landslide.” And they aren’t wrong. Hillary Clinton’s lead is “clear and steady,” reports Nate Silver, renowned political statistician.
An NBC News poll confirms Silver’s report. The Hillary Clinton campaign posted a video of the most recent polls, noting if the election were to happen today, she would take Iowa, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia.
That’s a win for Hillary Clinton. This video here posted to the Hillary Clinton Instagram account spells out exactly how that would happen if the election happened today.
Anyone that remembers the Mitt Romney and President Obama race knows the race didn’t look nearly this bad for the GOP at this stage of the game. Additionally, Real Clear Politics has Hillary Clinton six points ahead in the national polls. She is 10 points ahead in Michigan, 19 points ahead in Washington, 25 ahead in New York, and nine ahead in New Hampshire. As of today, Nate Silver predicts an 88.3 percent chance of Hillary Clinton winning the Oval Office.
At the same time, though, Hillary Clinton warned you still need to vote, and “don’t be complacent.” She also tweeted her thoughts today on the latest Trump camp shakeup.
With just 83 days until Election Day, Trump hired one of the most extreme right-wing voices to run his campaign. pic.twitter.com/geausYW6oD— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 17, 2016
Every vote still matters in this election come November. Of course, anything can happen before November. But not many pundits are touting today’s Trump campaign shakeup as good news for the campaign.
It’s being seen as a last minute Band-Aid attempt to stop a hemorrhage of bleeding. Do you think a campaign shakeup will change things for Donald Trump?
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]