Donald Trump's campaign has undergone yet another big change. Campaign chairman Paul Manafort has resigned. Manafort’s move follows the departure of Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski earlier this summer. The announcement came Friday when the Trump campaign released a brief statement:
"This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. 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."
Campaign staff is "stunned," reported Bloomberg's Kevin Cirilli, adding that Manafort was actually working on the campaign as recently as Thursday. Manafort’s position in the campaign had changed though, a campaign source told Cirilli, before indicating that Trump had stopped taking advice from Manafort. Manafort stepped up and assumed the position of campaign chairman after Lewandowski left in June and led Trump through the Republican National Convention where he clinched the Republican Presidential nomination by earning the necessary 1,237 votes.
Rick Gates, Manafort's deputy, will not be leaving the campaign, Cirilli reported.
Manafort has recently been embroiled in controversy following criticism of his work in the Ukraine where he reportedly aided pro-Russia groups to help Russian influence in the country. Gates was also involved, as reported by the Associated Press. Investigators reportedly discovered a ledger for $12.7 million from former Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych written to Manafort.
Trump has his own controversial history with Russia. He has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past and recently encouraged Russia to hack into opponent Hillary Clinton's emails.