In politics, even long-term relationships must eventually come to an end. For Donald Trump's embattled campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, that end came on Monday, reported the New York Times, almost exactly one year after Trump announced his candidacy for president.
"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," Trump's campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, told the Times in a statement. "The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future."
Sources within the Trump campaign told the Times that Lewandowski had been fired.
Lewandowski's exit apparently came as a surprise to everyone on the Trump campaign. No one on the staff was aware of the news before it broke publicly on Monday morning, reported the Washington Post.
Lewandowski's departure marks the biggest internal shake-up so far inside Team Trump. For the past year, Lewandowski has been the top member of Trump's close-knit inner circle, traveling with the candidate everywhere he went, and defending him — sometimes viciously — on the campaign trail.
Lewandowski's fierce loyalty to Trump went farther than most campaign managers. He made headlines in April, when he grabbed the arm of a Breitbart reporter, Michelle Fields, during a Trump press conference. He faced an assault charge for the incident but did not end up being prosecuted.
Fields did not have any kind words for Lewandowski after news of his departure broke.
Trump's campaign has been wracked by infighting and staff shakeups for months. Trump's operation is much smaller than most presidential campaigns and many of the people closest to him have little to no experience running a presidential campaign. That included Lewandowski, who had never worked on a national campaign before being tapped by Trump last spring.
Lewandowski is a Republican delegate for Trump in his home state of New Hampshire and will, presumably, still be casting a ballot for his former boss at the Republican National Convention.
This spring, Trump hired veteran political strategist Paul Manafort to bring experience and maturity to Trump's non-traditional campaign. Manafort and Lewandowski have frequently clashed over who is in charge but now that the latter is gone, it looks like Manafort has won.