Donald Trump is restructuring his campaign once again, the Wall Street Journal reports, hiring Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, as campaign chief executive, and promoting Kellyanne Conway, a Republican strategist who’d been advising the campaign, to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will reportedly retain his position as campaign chairman.
“I want to win,” Trump insisted to the Journal. (Does he though?) “That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.” Disgraced Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has also been advising the Republican candidate’s campaign.
“It’s an expansion at a busy time in the final stretch of the campaign,” she said, adding that Mr. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, would remain in their roles.
“We met as the ‘core four’ today,” Ms. Conway added, referring to herself, Mr. Bannon, Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates.
People briefed on the move said that it reflected Mr. Trump’s realization that his campaign was at a crisis point. But it indicates that the candidate — who has chafed at making the types of changes his current aides have asked for, even though he had acknowledged they would need to occur — has decided to embrace his aggressive style for the duration of the race.
Neither Conway nor Bannon have any experience running a presidential campaign in a general election, although both, the Times points out, are close with her-daughter conservative mega-donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer.
Bannon’s Breitbart News has encouraged Trump’s most confrontational and abrasive impulses so avidly that, BuzzFeed News reported last summer, some writers and editors suspected Trump might be paying for positive coverage.