In a major shakeup indicating that Donald Trump is unhappy with the direction of his campaign, the Republican presidential nominee has brought on Stephen Bannon, the head of far-right media company Brietbart News, to serve as the campaign's chief executive.
Paul Manafort, Trump's controversial campaign chairman, will retain his title, but sources in the campaign told the Washington Post that his role will be "diminished." It was the actions and attitude of Manafort and others that apparently brought on this shift, with the Post reporting that Trump has felt "controlled" and "boxed in" by advisors who come from traditional political backgrounds.
Bannon is a former Goldman Sachs banker who might be most famous for his unabashed love of Sarah Palin, the failed vice presidential candidate who quit the Alaska governorship in the middle of her term—Bannon made a 2011 documentary about her called The Undefeated. He's also been with Breitbart News since it began in 2007. In the past year, the site has shifted into being essentially a mouthpiece for Trump; when Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields was grabbed by then Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the website appeared to side with the Trump campaign over Fields, prompting Fields and editor Ben Shapiro to quit.
The Post reported that Bannon "has been telling Trump to run more fully as an outsider and an unabashed nationalist"—in other words, more massive rallies, more bombastic rhetoric, and likely not much in the way of a "pivot" to the political center. "Buckle up" is how one Trump strategist put it in a text to the Post.
GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway will be the new campaign manager.
"I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years," Trump said in a statement about the staff shuffle."They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win. I believe we're adding some of the best talents in politics, with the experience and expertise needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in November and continue to share my message and vision to Make America Great Again."