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Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigns

AP

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned Thursday morning, the campaign confirmed in a statement.

“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,” the Republican presidential nominee wrote. “I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”

Manafort’s resignation followed several other staff changes this week, in which Trump added former Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon to his campaign as CEO and promoted senior adviser Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager.

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, who broke the news of Manafort’s resignation, attributed the news to a close friend who said Manafort was leaving “on good terms” and to give recent Trump campaign hires more space.

Manafort had come under fire in recent weeks for his past political activity in Ukraine, which included consulting for Ukraine’s former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych. The New York Times reported ledgers for Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political organization listed lucrative payments to him. The alleged sum — $12.7 million in cash — had not previously been disclosed, though Manafort denied any wrongdoing or receiving any payments in cash.

Manafort officially joined the campaign in March, butting heads with then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who had promoted a campaign philosophy of “letting Trump be Trump.” When Lewandwski was fired in June, Manafort attempted to rein in some of Trump’s most controversial actions.

But after several stumbles after the Republican National Convention — including Trump’s attacks on a Muslim Gold Star family whose slain son served in Iraq — Trump has slipped in polls across the board in the last few weeks.

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