Controversial Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort has resigned his position.
Trump issued a statement on Manafort’s resignation in which he said he was “very appreciative for his great work in helping us get to where we are today.” Trump in particular praised Manafort for getting Trump’s campaign through the “delegate and nomination process.”
Manafort, who saw his role as campaign boss diminished this week when Trump appointed Breitbart News boss Stephen Bannon as his new campaign CEO, has been taking fire after multiple reports have revealed his connections to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, a leaked memo revealed that Ukrainian authorities have accused Manafort of organizing protests against a NATO military exercise in Ukraine on behalf of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. One American soldier who was in Ukraine at the time revealed that protesters organized by Manafort threw rocks at NATO troops en route to the training exercise.
The Associated Press also reported that Manafort “helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.” Manafort did not publicly declare his role as a lobbyist of a foreign power, which is a felony under federal law.
CNN is reporting that Manafort believed that he was becoming too much of a distraction for the Trump campaign, which is why he offered his resignation.
In addition to Manafort, Bloomberg reporter Kevin Cirilli sends word that Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates has also left the campaign.