Presumptive GOP nominee for president Donald Trump has announced the dismissal of his national campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” Hope Hicks, campaign spokesperson, said in a statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”
U.S. media outlets were buzzing with the news on Monday morning as speculation was rampant over the reasons for the dismissal.
Trump’s staff and advisers have been expressing concerns over the campaign manager’s quick temper for months, and “some even planned a coup against him last month,” according to sources quoted by Politico.
Trump was facing external pressure to fire Lewandowski after the campaign manager was accused last week of grabbing the arm of former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields.
Lewandowski and Trump both disputed the reporter’s account of the incident and the candidate stood by his campaign manager. But according to Politico, Lewandowski has a long history of inappropriate behavior, documented by interviews with more than 20 sources who worked with him over the past year and in his previous position.
According to those reports, there were numerous complaints about Lewandowski’s behavior with reporters — aggression with male reporters and sexual inappropriateness with female reporters — as well as belligerence with officials and coworkers who appeared to challenge his authority.
The New York Times concurred: “The campaign manager was seen as having a hostile relationship with many members of the national press corps that covers Mr. Trump, and many officials at the Republican National Committee had strained relationships with him,” according to the article announcing Lewandowski’s dismissal.
Responding to email questions from Politico, Lewandowski said in “mostly one-word answers” that he welcomes dissenting strategic viewpoints. He said his relationship with the Trump family is “solid.” But he declined to discuss his employment at his previous position with the Koch Brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity.”
According to NYT, Lewandowski was “often at odds” with the Trump campaign’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, and at times blocked or countermanded his staff hires.
More to the point, the general discontent below the surface within the campaign as well as the discontent above the surface within the Republican Party made it clear that changes were necessary in order to coalesce a unified group that was capable of taking on the race against Hillary Clinton, according to those who were briefed on Lewandowski’s dismissal.
A source quoted by NYT said the move has been in the works “for many weeks” and said the focus is now zeroing in on “bringing the party together, including hiring new staff members and adjusting to the race” against Hillary Clinton.
With the Republican National Convention set for July 18-21 in Cleveland, there isn’t much time to get that done and the show on the road.Hana Levi Julian