Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has parted ways with his embattled campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, amid ongoing scrutiny over several missteps as the real estate mogul has sought to pivot to the general election.
“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,” Hope Hicks said in a statement to the press Monday. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”
Lewandowski’s departure, which was first reported by the New York Times, was confirmed to The Post by several people. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has been under heavy fire in recent weeks for a string of damaging controversies, from his clumsy response to the mass shooting in Orlando to his highly personal attacks against a federal judge overseeing two lawsuits against him, to his campaign’s failure to disburse pledged donations meant for veterans’ charities.
National polling trends have painted a grim picture for the Trump campaign, as a sharp decline in strength against against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has made Republicans anxious about his appeal outside of the Republican base. GOP leaders have also worried that Trump’s brand of politics is toxic for the party at large and could damage them for elections to come. Already Democrats have sought to pin Trump’s controversial comments to down-ballot candidates locked in tough reelection bids around the country, which they hope could help them flip the Senate to Democratic control in November.
That has given serious pause to allies and donors who worry that Trump is unable and unwilling to curb his brash persona and bombastic style — which he would need to do to appeal to independent voters in a tough general-election bid against Clinton.
Word of Lewandowski’s departure Monday morning came as a surprise to members of the campaign and surrogates, who were not internally briefed about the shift before the news leaked to reporters. No staff-wide email detailing the shift or outlining the new organizational structure has been sent.
Stephen Stepanek, Trump’s campaign co-chairman in New Hampshire and a state representative who is close to Lewandowski, recalled spending time last Monday with Trump and Lewandowski during their visit to Manchester, N.H. He did not sense any tension between the two. Stepanek said he, too, heard about Lewandowski’s departure through news reports and, as of an hour later, had not been told what the new campaign hierarchy would be.
“Corey was up here with Mr. Trump a week ago Monday, and as near as I could tell everything seemed fine,” Stepanek said.
Lewandowski did not return a request for comment.