Donald Trump staffer Paul Manafort has announced plans to resign from his position as the Republican candidate’s campaign chairman amidst an investigation into his alleged ties to Russian officials.
Per Reuters, Manafort stands accused of his previous firm having accepted “secret payments” from a Ukranian official in exchange for certain favors. This ongoing investigation into Manafort’s past has also been tracked and documented by the Inquisitr.
Donald Trump, himself, announced Manafort’s departure in a public statement while touring the flood-afflicted areas of Louisiana Friday. Per the Washington Post, Trump noted the following.
“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.”
Behind closed doors, however, Trump’s thoughts seem to tell a wholly different story about Manafort’s decision to resign. The Washington Post, citing “two people familiar with Trump’s decision,” noted that the G.O.P. candidate was handed a report detailing Manafort’s previous firm’s ties to foreign lobbyists just before his North Carolina rally, and reportedly “blew a gasket,” telling others that Manafort should be dismissed as soon as possible.
During better days, Manafort was instrumental in trying to bring about party unity between Trump’s campaign and the Republican party establishment, per the Washington Post, by “encouraging a more temperate and consistent message from [Donald Trump].” A reported staff reassignment had recently limited Manafort’s role within the campaign.
Manafort’s decision to resign has left Trump’s presidential road to be led by new chief executive Stephen Bannon and new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
According to the Post, it is not yet known as to whether other members of Trump’s staff will also resign, as the recent additions of Bannon and Conway are being regarded within the campaign as “additional hires.”
Conway would elaborate on Manafort’s decision to resign, saying that “[Manafort] was asked [to resign] and he indeed tendered his resignation.”
One anonymous “strategist” told the Post, meanwhile, that Manafort’s past “was going to become an issue. He wasn’t prepared to tamp it down. When he decided to re-enter high-profile American politics and he ratcheted it up with lots of Sunday shows and TV appearances, he had to know he was putting himself out there as a target.”
Manafort’s decision to resign follows several weeks of Trump missteps that some believe have left him trailing his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton in national and “battleground state” polls, as well as increased scrutiny by liberals over Manafort’s previously mentioned ties to Ukranian and Russian authorities, including former president Viktor Yanukovych.
For his own part, the Post noted that Trump recently expressed regret for some of his harsh language earlier in his campaign, while attending a rally in North Carolina Thursday.
“…represented a sharp change in tone by a candidate who has resisted any such moves in the past. Trump’s words were applauded by mainstream Republicans, who hope this marked a transition to a campaign focused on attacking Clinton and delivering a consistent message about national security, law and order, and the economy.”
And many believe that if Trump is to get his campaign on track and have a legitimate shot at becoming president, that he will need to continue to do just that.
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]