For the second time in as many months, Donald Trump has a new campaign manager.
Paul Manafort -- who replaced the campaign's aggressive former manager Corey Lewandowski on June 20 -- resigned on August 19, two days after Trump promoted staffer and former pollster Kellyanne Conway to the campaign's top post, according to Politico.
“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,” Trump wrote in a statement, according to The New York Times. “I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”
Although Manafort was credited with a small string of victories and helped guide Trump through the end of a long primary, he was unable to rein in the mercurial and outspoken Republican candidate during two months that saw Trump lose his post-convention polling bump and sink in the polls behind his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
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Trump's family members -- considered his closest advisors -- were also troubled by reports that Manafort had received millions in cash payments from Russia, as well as other stories about his dealings with the country, Politico reported.
“My father just didn’t want to have the distraction looming over the campaign and quite frankly looming over all the issues that Hillary’s facing right now,” Eric Trump told Fox News, The New York Times reports.
Manafort's departure doesn't mean his fingerprints won't remain on the Trump campaign, friend and financier Thomas Barrack told The New York Times.
“I’ve known him since we were in college, he’s a first-class person, he’s an amazing individual and he has been the lead architect in trying to seamlessly put together the institutional side of this campaign,” Barrack said. “I think the architecture he put together will continue to serve the campaign well, but I’m sorry to see him go.”
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But it was just more than the alleged Russian ties and sinking poll numbers that spelled the end of Manafort's time at the helm of the 2016 Republican campaign, a Washington Post story noted. Lewandowski, who has continued to support Trump during on-air appearances as a CNN contributor, pointed to the lack of a traditional campaign structure on the ground -- and reports that the Trump campaign hadn't purchased airtime for TV ads -- as reasons for the political adviser's downfall.
“It’s been widely reported that [there] has not been a robust ground effort in states like Florida, that that had not been laid out yet,” Lewandoski said, according to the Washington Post. “You cannot blame the candidate for those things. Those things fall squarely on the staff at some level of building up the field teams and hiring the people."