Although Corey Lewandowski will remain in charge of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the expanded role of Trump aide Paul Manafort suggests a major shakeup inside Team Donald!
After Trump’s weak performance in the Wisconsin primary, the campaign is struggling to reestablish itself ahead of the New York primary, and ensure the candidate secures the nomination before the convention!
Paul Manafort may listen to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, but he only answers to one man: Donald Trump.
“I work directly for the boss,” Manafort said bluntly on CNN on Friday. “I listen to everybody, but I have one man whose voice is louder than everybody else’s.”
The Republican front-runner’s campaign on Thursday expanded the role of Manafort, a senior adviser who was initially tapped to assist with collecting delegates ahead of what’s likely to be a contested convention in July.
According to the Trump campaign, the real estate mogul is “consolidating the functions related to the nomination process and assigning them to” Manafort, who will be responsible for oversight and management of all activities relating to the delegate process and convention.
But Manafort’s seemingly innocuous comments are likely an implicit shot at Lewandowski, with whom POLITICO has reported he has clashed repeatedly. Trump’s campaign said Thursday that in Manafort’s expanded role he would work closely with Lewandowski and deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner, but did not specify who reports to whom.
Manafort suggested the campaign was entering a new phase and praised Trump for what he’s accomplished so far on his run, hailing him as the “first modern presidential candidate” for his use of social media.
“But because [of] the campaign’s coming stages, he also understood that there becomes a time when winning isn’t enough. It’s how you win and how much you win, and he recognized this was the time,” Manafort said, explaining his recent hire and broadened role.
Manafort said that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won Wisconsin by a double-digit margin on Tuesday, has seen his best days and declared that, “if we run the right campaign,” the primary will be over before the convention. Trump is strongest in states he needs to win, Manafort argued, citing New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut as examples.
“The reality is this convention process will be over with sometime in June — probably June 7. And it’ll be apparent to the world that Trump is over the 1,237 number and at that point in time, when it is apparent, everything’s gonna come together,” said Manafort, who added that he was confident “because I know the votes.”
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