Top Trump Aide Resigns Amidst Campaign Staff Reorganization

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April 19, 2016 8:22 a.m.

Donald Trump’s field director, Stuart Jolly, resigned on Monday after Trump reportedly ordered a reorganization of campaign staff heading into the remaining primary contests.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude for the opportunity to serve you and your campaign over the past 7 months,” Jolly wrote in his resignation letter, according to the New York Times. “The journey has been extraordinary and many experiences on this journey will never be forgotten.”

Jolly quit his position on the campaign after newly hired aide Paul Manafort was given more power on the campaign, Politico reported on Monday evening. According to Politico, during a Saturday meeting with top staffers, Trump indicated that Manafort and recently-hired Rick Wiley will largely run the campaign. The two top staffers will have a $20 million budget through the end of June, sources told Politico. And Manafort plans on hiring additional communications staff, Politico and the New York Times reported.

Jolly told the Washington Post that he would have reported to Manafort instead of working under his longtime friend, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

“That wasn’t going to happen,” Jolly told the Post. “I just decided not to go that route and let the new team have a shot at it. We have a great group of folks in place on the ground, and they’re kicking butt and doing great work. We had 22 successful campaigns — our guys on the ground just did a fantastic job.”

“It was time for me to go,” he added. “I would rather go out on top than, you know, go after a loss or something. I went out on my own — I wasn’t pushed out or forced out. I wasn’t asked to leave, quite the opposite. It’s been a good ride. I would do it all again.”

The Trump campaign also hired Republican lawyer William McGinley to help with the campaign’s delegate battles heading into the July Republican convention, Politico reported.

The staff changes will give Manafort more power over the campaign, and will reportedly reduce the role of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. CBS News reported that Lewandowski was “reduced to a role that amounts to body man and scheduler.”

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