Donald Trump fired Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowksi Monday, dumping the man who had been instrumental in helping Trump win the primaries but whose contentiousness became too much of a burden inside and outside the campaign.
“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,” the campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, 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.”
The ousting comes as a rebellion among delegates to the convention continues to brew, with some pushing for changes in the rules that would allow them to “vote their conscience” instead of reflecting the will of primary voters.
The Washington Post reported today that the delegates associated with the insurrection are now raising money for their effort.
Lewandowski’s departure puts Paul Manafort in charge and suggests that Trump will begin to build an actual campaign beyond the shoestring operation he currently has. It’s possible that Trump perceives he needs a more professional operation given that he may have to do more of the work on his own as the GOP establishment shows increasing reluctance to fund and support his effort.
Lewandowski had toxic relations with many within the campaign, as well as reporters and others outside it. Trump, in at least one of his books, wrote how a single bad apple can poison a whole organization, asserting that negative forces should be eliminated. He has now taken his own advice.
I wouldn’t necessarily expect a kinder, gentler Trump out of this. No one controls him. This could promote just the opposite, a Trump who feels he can say and do what he wants because he has his own organization to back up him and can worry less about what the RNC thinks.