Politics

The Reason Trump Fired His Campaign Manager

Corey Lewandowski, the embattled now-former campaign manager of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, was let go over the weekend, according to The New York Times. The campaign said this is part of a shift to focus on the general election and is a response to changing tides.

"The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign," 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."

But sources inside the Trump campaign — including the candidate's own children, according to New York Daily News — reportedly complained about Lewandowski's hostile management style and pressed Trump to fire him. (Lewandowski made headlines in March after he allegedly grabbed a reporter who was trying to ask Trump a question. He was charged with misdemeanor battery, but the charge was later dropped.)

These internal pressures, in tandem with the fact that Trump's campaign has lacked a cohesive strategy, appear to be at the center of the shakeup.

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One source close to the Trump campaign told CNN that it was Trump's daughter Ivanka who hammered the final nail in Lewandowski's coffin. She reportedly "sat down with her father within the last 24 hours and convinced him to let Lewandowski go" amid increasing tension between her husband, Jared Kushner, and the campaign manager.

But the Trump campaign itself claims the departure is a response to changing tides in the 2016 election. Lewandowki's management style apparently proved suitable for the primary season but excessively contentious for the general election.

In an effort to reorganize his campaign for success in the general, Trump plans to increase his staff — specifically hiring staffers who have political experience — as the competition between Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton heats up. The Trump campaign has been eschewing traditional campaign methods — including the use of voter data — reportedly leaving data and field operations to the Republican National Committee, according to the Hill.

"Mr. Trump had faced increasing concerns from allies and donors, as well as his children, about the next phase of the campaign," The Times reports. "It is a move that could reassure donors and Republicans more broadly that he can adjust toward a November election strategy."

NBC's Katie Tur also reports that the timing of Lewandowski's firing is significant, as Trump has been slipping in national polls. "[Trump has been] struggling to implement an organization to run a national campaign, criticism from Republican officials continues to mount, and efforts to deny Trump the nomination emerge," NBC News reports.

Lewandowski said in a statement, "I stand by the fact that Mr. Trump is a great candidate and is better than Hilary Clinton ever will be." Lewandowski appeared on CNN on Monday and stated that he was unsure of the reasoning behind his firing.

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