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Trump fires campaign chief after bowing to children

Ivanka Trump, his daughter, went so far as to say she would step back from assisting further if the chief was not fired.

Published: 21st June 2016 07:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2016 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump parted ways yesterday (Monday) with Corey Lewandowski, his controversial campaign manager, reportedly at the insistence of his children.

Mr Lewandowski had steered the campaign for the past year as it accumulated controversies and primary election victories, and favoured a strategy described as "let Trump be Trump".

He clashed with Paul Manafort, the veteran Republican strategist hired to professionalise the campaign ahead of the presidential election.

With Hillary Clinton's push for the White House running rings around Mr Trump's in terms of fundraising and organisation, Mr Lewandowski - valued more for his loyalty to Mr Trump than for his relatively light political resume - played an increasingly peripheral role.

Mr Manafort convinced Mr Trump to read speeches from an autocue and inject policy into what has always been a personality-led candidacy, while reassuring donors and party grandees that the candidate would "evolve".

Having apparently won the internal power struggle, Mr Manafort is expected to take full control of the campaign.

Hope Hicks, Mr Trump's press secretary, announced the departure in a brief statement. "Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign," she said.

"The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future."

Mr Lewandowski's sudden exit comes three months after he was charged with battery for grabbing a reporter who was attempting to question Mr Trump.

The charges were subsequently dropped, but not before Mr Trump came under pressure to fire his campaign manager.

The property magnate said at the time that he was too "loyal" to do so. "I would have loved to have fired him," Mr Trump told CNN. "It would have been much easier than talking to you about this all night long. I don't want to ruin his life."

The news was welcomed by some in Mr Trump's inner circle. Michael Caputo, New York campaign director, tweeted, "ding dong the witch is dead!"

Mr Trump reportedly made the decision to remove Mr Lewandowski after a meeting with his children, who have taken active roles in the campaign.

Ivanka Trump, his daughter, went so far as to say she would step back from assisting further if Mr Lewandowski was not fired, according to CNN.

Mr Lewandowski said yesterday he did not know why he was sacked and that he had a "great relationship" with Mr Manafort and Mr Trump's children.

He said that if he had ruffled any feathers it was only out of fierce support for his former boss.

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