Donald Trump’s poll numbers have been sinking faster than the Titanic, and the campaign is already tossing people overboard. On Monday morning at 10:00AM EST, the Trump campaign announced that campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, would be leaving the campaign trail. According to sources at NPR, the split was mutual, though “another described it as a ‘firing’ and a ‘summary execution.'” Perhaps this was Trump staffer Michael Caputo who tweeted out after the announcement: “Ding Dong the witch is dead!”
The campaign explained that this move is to reassure donors and the party that Trump can be competitive against Hillary Clinton in the general election. In short, Lewandowski is damaged goods and the campaign is in trouble.
Lest we forget, Lewandowski made headlines back in March when he grabbed former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields’ arm and roughly pulled her toward the ground. The incident blew out of proportion when Lewandowski refused to apologize. The campaign backed him at the time, claiming that he had never seen her, that she was vying for attention, or that she had deserved it. In typical Trumpian fashion, it was never clear where they stood exactly. The point is at each turn, the campaign knowingly lied to protect one of its own from a crime (specifically, misdemeanor battery) that he obviously committed.
At the time Trump played the loyalty card, declaring that “I am a loyal person … it would be so easy just to terminate him, to say ‘you’re fired’ … I stick up for people.” For a guy whose catchphrase is “you’re fired,” loyalty would not be a cardinal virtue, and this morning’s news proved just that.
Paul Manafort, who joined the campaign a few months ago, will take Lewandowski’s place at Trump’s right hand and attempt to sail the fledgling ship to victory. Multiple sources report that Manafort and Lewandowski had been fighting for months over the direction of the campaign. Lewandowski wanted to maintain the “shoot from the hip”, outsider approach, while Manafort wanted to pivot to a more disciplined campaign.
With about four weeks to go before the RNC convenes in Cleveland, we will have to see if this staff change can make much of a difference.
As for Lewandowski, Michelle Fields offered him some job advice, tweeting that “I hear Breitbart is hiring.”