Trump says campaign chairman Manafort resigns

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Paul Manafort resigns from Trump campaign

Aug 19 (Reuters) - Paul Manafort resigned as chairman of Donald Trump's U.S. presidential campaign on Friday, Trump said, days after the Republican candidate effectively demoted him in a leadership shakeup aimed at boosting his struggling White House bid.

Trump said in a statement he had accepted Manafort's resignation, but did not offer an explanation for the departure. Campaign sources said that Trump had been unhappy withManafort for a variety of reasons.

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Manafort had presided over a period in which Trump had fallen behind in opinion poll numbers in the race against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for the Nov. 8 election.

On Wednesday, Trump overhauled his campaign team, hiring the head of a conservative news website to bolster his combative image and try to reverse poor opinion poll numbers.

That move, his second staff revamp in less than two months, essentially served as a demotion forManafort, who had been brought in to try to bring a more professional touch but struggled to rein in Trump's freewheeling ways.

"This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign," Trump said in a statement on Friday.

"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," Trump said.

In recent days, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had been searching for someone to join the campaign whom both he and Trump could agree was trustworthy, according to a campaign source. Both, the source said, had grown uncomfortable with Manafort.

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Manafort had been brought in initially at Kushner's urging, the source said.

Trump also was not pleased with ongoing revelations about Manafort's past lobbying for the formerly pro-Russian government in Ukraine, said a source familiar with the situation.

Manafort has come under scrutiny in recent days over his alleged ties with pro-Russian political groups in Ukraine. Earlier on Friday, a Ukrainian lawmaker offered more details of what he said were payments made to Manafort by the political party of the Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich.

Manafort, in a statement earlier this week, has denied any wrongdoing. The allegations were first made in The New York Times on Monday.



Photos of Paul Manafort through the years:

14 PHOTOS
Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort through the years
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Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort through the years
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Paul Manafort (C) and daughter Ivanka (R) look on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign chair and convention manager Paul Manafort speaks at a press conference at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign chair and convention manager Paul Manafort appears at a press conference at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort talks to the media from the Trump family box on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Paul Manafort, senior advisor to Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, smiles as he talks with other Trump campaign staff after Trump spoke to supporters following the results of the Indiana state primary, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's senior campaign adviser Paul Manafort (L) walks into a reception with former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, at the Republican National Committee Spring Meeting at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort listens to Ivanka Trump speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: A man with a security credential takes a selfie at the podium as Donald Trump, flanked by campaign manager Paul Manafort and daughter Ivanka, checks the podium early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 19: Paul Manafort, advisor to Donald Trump, is seen on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 19, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Paul Manafort., Convention Manager, Trump Campaign, appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday April 10, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NA.R.DoleMicCk1.081596.RG.Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole looks up from podium at balloons and television cameras as convention center manager Paul Manafort, at right, points out preparations for tonight's acceptance speech in San Diego, 08/15/96. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater, young Republicans political operatives who have set up lobbying firms. (Photo by Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Paul Manafort, a Republican consultant with ties to Presidents Bush and Reagan, told the House Government Operations subcommittee Oct. 2,1989, that he "played by the rules' in obtaining multimillion-dollar federal housing subsidies. (AP photo/stf)
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