Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is falling rapidly in the polls and flailing wildly everywhere else, so it should come as little surprise that His Hairness is once again making major changes at the top of his campaign. As CNN reports:
Donald Trump’s campaign is undergoing a major staff shake-up with less than three months to Election Day, adding two officials to top posts overseeing his struggling campaign and signaling a shift toward campaigning as a scorched earth outsider in order to win.
Trump has named Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News and a former investment banker, to the post of chief executive and promoted Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser and pollster to his campaign, to the position of campaign manager, Conway confirmed to CNN early Wednesday morning.
The addition of Bannon — known for his brass-knuckled demeanor and his website’s sharp tone — came hours after reports surfaced that Roger Ailes, the recently ousted head of Fox News, will begin to advise Trump as he prepares for the presidential debates. The influence of both men lays the groundwork for unleashing Trump this fall from the more traditional presidential candidate framework, which Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort’s leadership was brought on to create. [Pols emphasis]
Trump is apparently growing increasingly frustrated with his plummeting poll numbers, and multiple news outlets are reporting that he has been feuding with Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort — who was just brought on a few months ago — over the direction of the campaign in general. Trump seems to believe that his best path to winning the Presidential race is to get back to his Republican Primary self; he seems convinced that voters want more Trump, not less Trump. Again, from CNN:
Both Trump and Manafort discussed the friction in their relationship with friends in recent days, and a close associate described Trump as frustrated at the state of the race, leveling complaints that he has been the victim of bad advice from his political team. [Pols emphasis]
“Mr. Trump doesn’t trust him anymore. That’s it. Pure and simple,” a source familiar with the tensions told CNN, adding that Trump’s gaffes and controversial statements in recent weeks have been fueled in part by his “exasperation” with the campaign’s management.
If Trump wants someone different from Manafort, he should find it in Steve Bannon. A former investment banker with no experience managing a political campaign, Bannon is the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, the conservative online news outlet that has fawned over Trump for most of the last year. Bannon and Kellyanne Conway will assume prominent new roles in the Trump campaign, while the newly-neutered Manafort (along with deputy Rick Gates) are relegated to offices in Washington D.C.
Trump’s staff changes have not been met with much enthusiasm among Republican allies. Or perhaps they have fallen under the spell of Trump spokeswoman Katrina “Baghdad Bob” Pierson, who insisted that the moves were not indicative of a “shakeup.”
Oh, and one more thing…good timing on that Trump endorsement, Sen. Cory Gardner!