Donald Trump, following weeks of agitation over his advisers’ attempts to temper his style, moved late Tuesday to renovate his struggling campaign by rebuffing those efforts and elevating two longtime associates who have encouraged his aggressive populism.
This is the third shake up in Camp Trump.
Stephen Bannon, a former banker who runs the conservative outlet Breitbart News and is known for his fiercely anti-establishment politics, has been named the Trump campaign’s chief executive.
Kellyanne Conway, a veteran Republican pollster who has been close to Trump for years, will assume the role of campaign manager.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the moves.
Trump’s stunning decision effectively ended the months-long push by campaign chairman Paul Manafort to moderate Trump’s presentation and pitch for the general election. And it sent a signal, perhaps more clear than ever, that the real-estate mogul intends to finish this race on his own terms, with friends who share his instincts at his side.
While Manafort, a seasoned operative who joined the campaign in March, will remain in his role, the advisers described his status internally as diminished due to Trump’s unhappiness and restlessness in recent weeks.
While Trump respects Manafort, the aides said, he has grown to feel “boxed in” and “controlled” by people who barely know him. Moving forward, he plans to focus intensely on rousing his voters at rallies and through media appearances.
Trump’s turn away from Manafort is in part a reversion to how he ran his campaign in the primary with then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski’s mantra was “let Trump be Trump” and Trump wants to get back to that type of campaign culture, the aides said.
Problem is that while letting “Trump be Trump” worked well in primaries, it has been shown to not work in the general election.