With a difficult general election looming and his poll numbers dropping, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is out the door.
In a statement to the New York Times, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the following:
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 is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.
Requests for further comment from Hicks were not immediately returned.
Lewandowski has been a lightning rod for much of the campaign season. His run in with then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields led to several staff resignations from the conservative site, and led to Lewandowski’s arrest on assault charges before the the case was eventually dropped.
There has been reports of friction between Lewandowski and Paul Manafort, the political professional brought in to run Trump’s convention operation and help professionalize the campaign. There were also reports in recent weeks of a shouting match on the streets of New York City between Hicks and Lewandowski.
This staffing shift could represent a sign that the Trump campaign is finally turning a corner and trying to become a more professional, traditional operation. There has been whispers recently that Trump’s staff on the ground is not nearly large enough, especially in swing states. Lewandowski didn’t have the nuts and bolts political experience of most campaign managers. Replacing him could be a step toward remedying some of those problems.
Ali Vitali of NBC News noted on Twitter that large parts of the Trump campaign didn’t even know Lewandowski had left the campaign:
The Republican National Convention, where Lewandowski will serve as a Trump delegate, is scheduled to begin on July 18.