Presidential races

Report: Top aides pull Trump campaign in different directions

Donald Trump has balked at recommendations from his new top aide to appear more presidential, according to a report that cites mounting tensions pulling the Trump campaign in two separate directions.

Politico reports that Trump has shifted some responsibilities back to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has been with the operation since the start, from Paul Manafort, the longtime delegate expert recently brought in to shore up the campaign ahead of a potential contested convention. 

Trump is reportedly upset by Manafort’s pitch to Republican National Committee members, whom he told Trump was only playing a part with his brash rhetoric and would shift to become more presidential. The report also says Trump didn’t know about Manafort’s deep lobbying ties to the Middle East. 

Manafort was brought in to mount an aggressive effort at avoiding a contested convention; his arrival coincided with a period when the Trump campaign continued to fall behind the Ted Cruz campaign’s efforts to woo the loyalties of delegates in the event Trump does not secure a majority. 

Many assumed Trump had internalized Manafort’s more professional message when the GOP front-runner took to the stage after last Tuesday’s victory in New York and avoided any of the pejorative names he’s used to mention his rivals.  

But since then, Trump has reverted back to his original, brash style of campaigning — coining a new nickname to chide John Kasich and lampooning the Ohio governor’s eating habits. 

“Everyone coming in now thinks they’re going to be able to manhandle him and he’s not going to let it happen,” an operative close to Trump told Politico. 

 “These consultants are used to being smarter than their candidate and in this scenario, the candidate is smarter and willing to risk more than you are.”

Manafort defended his comments to the RNC during an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” arguing that he was taken out of context. He also used the interview to land a blow at Lewandowski and other original Trump staffers for not adequately avoiding the delegate issues the campaign now faces.

In a brief interview with The Hill Monday, before the report came out, Lewandowski tried to tamp down the rumblings of internal discord within the campaign. 

“I think what you guys are missing is that the Trump campaign is growing. We brought on Paul Manafort, Rick Wiley, Ed Brookover, Barry Bennett – seasoned professionals that are going to help us be in the best position possible to not only secure the nomination but to beat Hillary Clinton,” he said, referencing longtime strategist who have signed on with the campaign. 

“I am still doing a lot of the same things but you have to grow a team. We have grown from something small to something much bigger.”

Lewandowski also pushed back against the idea that Trump wants to change his rhetoric during a Tuesday afternoon interview with CNN’s “The Lead.”

“The message is the same and Donald Trump will never change. The motto of this campaign has been and will continue to be — let Mr. Trump be Mr. Trump,” he said.  

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Ted Cruz

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

See all Hill.TV See all Video

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

Main area bottom

Top Stories

See All

Most Popular

Load more