Trump has tapped Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News to serve as chief executive of the campaign. Pollster Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will stay on as Trump’s campaign chairman.
“I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years,” Trump said in a statement. “They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win.”
Breitbart News, where Bannon has been serving as chairman, has been a platform in recent years for Trump’s brand of populism and fierce opposition to illegal immigration. A campaign release highlighted that Bloomberg Politics has called Bannon the “most dangerous political operative in America.”
Since the Republican and Democratic conventions last month, Trump has been losing ground in both national and swing-state polls. The NPR electoral map suggests if the election were held today, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would have a clear path to the White House, even if she were to lose the most closely-contested states.
Republicans have complained about Trump’s repeated stumbles, including his fight with the Gold Star family of a Muslim Army Captain who was killed in Iraq and his claim last week the President Obama is the “founder” of ISIS.
Trump appeared somewhat more disciplined in recent days, largely sticking to his script during a counter-terrorism speech in Ohio Monday and a law-and-order address outside Milwaukee Tuesday night.
Manafort has also come under scrutiny this week after the New York Times reported that his name had appeared in a ledger of under-the-table payments made by former President Viktor Yanukovych’s party. Manafort, however, dismissed the idea that he’d accepted cash payments for his work in Ukraine as “unfounded, silly, and nonsensical.”
The campaign shake-up comes as the campaign prepares to …