Trump campaign manager Manafort resigns after troubled stretch

20 August 2016, 03:58 | Isaac Mcdaniel

"He helped us get through the primary process, he helped us get through the convention, he did a great job with the delegates", Trump said.

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing", Trump told backers in Charlotte, N.C.

"I think my father didn't want to be, you know, distracted by, you know, whatever things that, you know, Paul was dealing with", the younger Trump said.

The new disclosures about their work come as Trump faces criticism for his friendly overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The reason Manafort resigned, of course, is because bringing in Conway and Bannon was a major - wait for it - shake-up of the senior leadership team within the campaign.

Manafort joined Trump's campaign last March, three months before the firing of abrasive campaign chief Corey Lewandowski. "I have done that, and believe it or not I regret it", Trump said.

Clinton now leads on average 47.2 percent to Trump's 41.2 percent, according to Real Clear Politics, and is ahead in virtually every swing state. He boastfully retweeted a message from a political journalist just moments after the announcement: "Lewandowski is winning so much even he may get exhausted of winning". "I hope America heard him because of all the people, David, who have been saying, hey, let's get trump to pivot, let's get him to be more presidential". The Associated Press reported Thursday night that a firm run by Manafort helped orchestrate a lobbying effort on behalf of Ukraine, but Manafort did not register as a foreign agent, which is required by federal law.

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Just a few days ago, Manafort saw his official role in the campaign diminished after Trump shook up his staff.

Gates also directed the firms to gather information in the USA on a rival lobbying operation, including a review of its public lobbying disclosures, to determine who was behind that effort, the emails showed. The pair also played a formative role building out Trump's campaign operation after pushing out an early rival.

"Paul Manafort's resignation is a clear admission that the disturbing connections between Donald Trump's team and pro-Kremlin elements in Russian Federation and Ukraine are untenable", Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement.

Gates will remain with Trump's presidential campaign, taking over as the campaign's liaison to the Republican National Committee. Manafort has been beating back reports from multiple media outlets in recent days over his ethics, which have been egged on by a Clinton campaign eager to highlight Trump's ties to the Kremlin. Only 15% said that Trump would be an "average" president.

Once Trump's top strategist, Manafort's resignation came at the end of a week in which his name also was connected to the handwritten ledger describing cash payments from Ukraine's then-governing political party.

But the NY businessman, who has never held elected office, has also been embroiled in a series of controversies in recent weeks and has lagged Clinton in opinion polls.

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