Donald Trump’s campaign added some new leadership late Tuesday night to his campaign team -- its second major course correction in less than two months.
Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Republican operative who was serving as a senior adviser and a pollster for Trump, was promoted to campaign manager, a role that had been officially vacant since Corey Lewandowski was fired in late July. In a more surprising hire, Trump added Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, as his campaign’s chief executive officer.
In an email to CBS News, Conway said the moves weren’t a “shakeup” but merely “an expansion of our team at a busy time in the campaign homestretch.” Trump told The Associated Press, “They’re terrific people, they’re winners, they’re champs, and we need to win it.”
Conway also said Paul Manafort, who’s been Trump’s de facto campaign manager, will remain in his role as campaign chairman and his deputy, Rick Gates, will remain in a senior role.
Manafort has been the subject of controversy due to his past dealings in Ukraine. The New York Times earlier this week reported the discovery by Ukrainian anti-corruption officials of handwritten ledgers showing $12.7 million earmarked for undisclosed cash payments to Manafort from former Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych’s political party from 2007 to 2012.
Trump’s poll numbers, both nationally and in battleground states, have plummeted since the conventions. In the latest NBC News/Survey Monkey poll, Trump is down by nine points nationally - 50 to 41 percent.