Washington: In a surprise move, Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday fired his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
“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,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement to The New York Times.
“The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future,” Hicks said.
According to the top US daily, Lewandowski, 42, was seen as someone having hostile relationship with members of the national press.
“Lewandowski was often at odds with Trump’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, who was brought on in March when the candidate seemed poised for a lengthy fight over delegates,” the daily said, adding that he was said to have resisted certain moves that would have increased the staff, at times blocking Manafort from making hires or later undoing them.
In an interview to Fox News, Barry Bennett, a senior Trump adviser, said, “Paul (Manafort) is totally in charge” of the campaign now that Lewandowski is gone.
“Lewandowki’s abrupt departure is the campaign’s most significant staff change to date, and signals an acknowledgment from Trump and his inner circle that big change is necessary ahead of the general election,” CNN commented on the 70-year-old real estate billionaire’s surprise move.
“Trump has suffered major setbacks since becoming his party’s presumptive nominee last month. He has come under intense criticism from party leaders, major donors and rank- and-file Republicans for an array of issues, including his response to last weekend’s terrorist attack in Orlando that killed 49 people,” it said.
The decision to fire Lewandowski was made swiftly in a Monday morning weekly meeting with Trump’s family members. A combination of falling poll numbers and pressure from many in Trump’s inner circle ultimately led to the decision, a Trump adviser said.
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