How Paul Manafort’s Exit Affects Trump Campaign
With less than three months to go until voters cast their ballots in the presidential election, the chief strategist of Republican Donald Trump’s campaign resigned on Friday, an unusual high-level departure this late in an election year.
Paul Manafort’s exit came just two days after Trump announced new campaign leadership, naming Stephen Bannon, head of conservative Breitbart website, as chief executive officer, and promoting Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager from adviser.
Manafort on Monday denied any wrongdoing after a New York Times report said he was designated to receive $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. Maclen Zilber, a political consultant at Jacobson & Zilber Strategies, speculates that the Trump campaign had to oust Manafort—instead of simply demote him—after allegations regarding his role in Ukraine continued to surface in multiple media reports for several days.
“It’s unconscionable and unpresidential for a candidate to not vet someone before hiring an unregistered agent of a foreign power,” Zilber tells Newsweek.