Donald Trump Shakes Up Campaign Organisation, ‘Demotes’ Chairman

Donald Trump Shakes Up Campaign Organisation, ‘Demotes’ Chairman

By The New York Times on August 17, 2016
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at FreedomFest, Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. | AP/John Locher

Donald Trump has shaken up his presidential campaign for the second time in two months, hiring a top executive from the conservative news site Breitbart News and promoting a senior adviser to a key new role in an effort to right his faltering campaign.

Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, will become the Republican campaign’s chief executive, and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser and pollster for Mr. Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, will become the campaign manager.

Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, will retain his title. But the staffing change, hammered out on Sunday and set to be formally announced Wednesday morning, represents a demotion for Mr. Manafort, who took control of the campaign nearly two months after Mr. Trump won the primary in Indiana, forcing the remaining two candidates from the race.

The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was confirmed early Wednesday by Ms. Conway in a brief interview, but she rejected the idea that the changes amounted to a shake-up.

“It’s an expansion at a busy time in the final stretch of the campaign,” she said, adding that Mr. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, would remain in their roles.

“We met as the ‘core four’ today,” Ms. Conway added, referring to herself, Mr. Bannon, Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates.

The people briefed on the move said that it reflects Mr. Trump’s realization that his campaign was at a crisis point. But it indicates that the candidate, who has chafed at making the types of changes his current aides have asked for even though he had acknowledged they would need to occur, has decided to embrace his aggressive style for the duration of the race.

Both Mr. Bannon and Ms. Conway are close with Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the father-and-daughter conservative donors who have become allies of Mr. Trump and are funding a “super PAC” that is working against Hillary Clinton.

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