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Donald Trump's campaign chair Paul Manafort just resigned

Another attempt to save the struggling Trump campaign.

Former Donald Trump campaign char Paul Manafort at a Trump rally.
Former Donald Trump campaign char Paul Manafort at a Trump rally.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort has officially resigned — after trying to fix the campaign for two months.

Trump announced the news on Friday morning:

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.

As my colleague Andrew Prokop explained, Manafort originally came into the Trump campaign to try to bring discipline and professionalism after campaign manager Corey Lewandowski failed to do either.

But the campaign continued to struggle under Manafort. At one point, Trump earned weeks of negative attention after suggesting that a federal judge should recuse himself from the Trump University case because of his Mexican heritage. And after the convention, Trump got into a bizarre feud with the family of a fallen Muslim veteran.

Meanwhile, Manafort himself has become a story because of his extensive ties to Russian interests. On August 14, the New York Times reported on a ledger documenting $12.7 million in payments to Manafort from the party of Ukraine's pro-Russian president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych. Coupled with Trump’s weirdly pro-Russian leanings, that news raised a lot of eyebrows.

In Manafort's place, Trump recently hired Steve Bannon, CEO of the ultra-conservative website Breitbart News, as the new "chief executive" of the campaign.

Bannon will face a huge challenge in trying to turn things around. Trump’s campaign is wildly behind Hillary Clinton in the polls. It was not supposed to be this way: As Vox’s election model shows, political science models suggests this was supposed to be a winning year for Republicans, but Trump is costing the party nearly 6 points — a fatal gap for a presidential candidate.


Watch: This election isn’t just Democrat vs. Republican. It’s normal vs. abnormal.

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