New York, June 20 (IANS) US presidential hopeful Donald Trump shook up his presidential campaign on Monday with an announcement that his controversial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is out.
“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 (Monday) announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” Trump 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.”
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. 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 over an array of issues, including his response to last weekend’s attack in Orlando that killed 49 people.
The news of Lewandowski’s departure was first reported by The New York Times.
The Lewandowski news comes amid deep internal tensions that have roiled the Trump campaign — sometimes even played out in public. Lewandowski was well known for being fiercely loyal to his boss — he is even a Trump delegate from New Hampshire — and also deeply protective of his direct access to the candidate.
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.
The ouster comes after a series of firestorms — from Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage to the suggestion that President Barack Obama perhaps played a role in the Orlando massacre. Lewandowski encouraged this behaviour, the adviser said.