WASHINGTON, United States, Jun 20 – Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, looking to revitalize a White House bid that has stumbled in recent days as he looks to a November showdown with Hillary Clinton, on Monday dumped his controversial campaign manager.
Trump, 70, has recently taken a hit in the national polls and sparked outrage with comments about Muslims in the wake of the Orlando gay club massacre. With less than a month to go before the Republican convention, changes were inevitable.
After weeks of rumors about dissent within his camp over how best to take on Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, the hammer came down Monday when campaign manager Corey Lewandowski left Team Trump.
“Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement.
“The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”
Trump’s team did not specify the terms of Lewandowski’s departure.
Lewandowski was credited with Trump’s initial breakthrough in the primaries, but he has recently been sidelined, with more experienced political operatives like Paul Manafort, who will now lead the campaign, being given more influence.
Lewandowski courted controversy earlier this year over a March run-in with a reporter at a Trump rally. She accused him of roughly grabbing her, leaving bruises, but he denied that account. Florida prosecutors opted to drop all charges.
According to New York magazine, Trump’s adult children – Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka – pushed for Lewandowski’s ouster, saying he was not up to the job in the run-up to November 8.
“I have no regrets,” Lewandowski told CNN. “I’m so thankful for this chance and I know that what I will do moving forward is share my advice… with Mr Trump and the team if they want it.”