Trump campaign chairman and chief strategist Paul Manafort has resigned from the campaign.
Trump confirmed the resignation in a statement Friday morning: “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.”
Manafort is leaving on good terms with the campaign, and will remain an ally and outside confidant of the campaign, according to a close associate of his who spoke on the condition of anonymity Friday to The Washington Post.
According to conversations late Thursday with Trump aides, Manafort’s departure was expected to come due to the reshuffling of the campaign’s staff earlier in the week, with Stephen K. Bannon being named chief executive and Kellyanne Conway assuming the role of campaign manager.
Manafort has had an easy rapport with both Conway and Bannon in meetings this week but was inclined to leave to give them room to develop and execute their own strategy, the aides said.
Manfort’s move took some by surprise since they thought that even though he had been lowered on the staff hierarchy, he would stay on as an adviser. “He didn’t seem like he was going to do it,” said one person familiar with Manafort’s thinking as of Wednesday night. “He said, ‘Look I think I can still help Donald.’”
Dan Balz contributed to this story.