Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, has resigned after questions about the viability of the campaign as well as Manafort's connections to Russia and Ukraine, according to The New York Times. Manafort was hired in March and attempted to slow Trump down and make him look more favorable to the public.
Trump's ratings among the public have been steadily dropping since the Republican Convention in July, mainly because he continues to speak impulsively, causing him to say things he later claims he didn't really mean or was joking about. Manafort's decision is yet a clear reflection of the difficulty Trump's campaign leaders have been having with controlling Trump's image in the public eye.
Recently, however, not all of the media spotlight has been on Trump himself. Manafort has been under fire for secretly working with Ukraine's former pro-Russian government. He had worked for former President Viktor F. Yanukovych in the past, but it was just discovered during investigations that Manafort had been getting paid by Yanukovych's pro-Russian political party through an "illegal, off-the-books system," according to the Times.
Donald Trump has released a statement on Manafort's resignition, saying, "This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success."
Last weekend, Trump brought in a new chief executive officer to his campaign, Stephen K. Bannon, as well as a new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, in an attempt to steady his campaign.
In an interview with Fox News, the nominee's son Eric Trump spoke about Manafort's resignation, saying, "I think my father didn't want to be, you know, distracted by whatever things Paul was dealing with. You know, Paul was amazing. But again, my father just didn't want to have the distraction looming over the campaign and quite frankly looming over all the issues that Hillary's facing right now." His comments showed that it's possible Manafort did not choose to leave the campaign entirely on his own. Rather, the addition of Bannon and Conway to Trump's campaign along with the issues Manafort has been facing in the media over his involvment in Ukraine may have been clear signs for him that it was time for an exit.