Donald Trump’s campaign manager says he still reports to the boss, amid recent hirings of seasoned political operatives to fill high-level slots on the GOP front-runner’s campaign.
“I work for Donald Trump, and everyone knows that,” Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.” “Look, a campaign is about growth, and we cannot be successful in this campaign if we don’t grow, and Paul Manafort is a great, well-respected operative who has a proven record of going out and delegate-hunting and making sure we’ve got the best political operation in place.”
Late last month, the Trump campaign announced the hiring of Mr. Manafort as the campaign’s convention manager and this week, the campaign announced it was bringing on Rick Wiley to serve as national political director. Mr. Wiley had been the campaign manager for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s 2016 presidential run.
“That’s Paul’s role, and we need that role,” Mr. Lewandowski said. “We went out, and I’ve been working with Rick Wiley for weeks to bring him on board the campaign — he’s now on board the campaign. We’re going to continue to make good, quality hires so that we are prepared not just for the rest of this primary season and looking for those 1,237 delegates, but for beyond.”
Mr. Lewandowski had been facing a charge of misdemeanor battery stemming from an incident last month in Florida with a reporter. Florida prosecutors announced Thursday they were declining to pursue the charge.
Last week, Mr. Manafort said that he, too, works for Mr. Trump.
“I’ve known Donald since the 1980s, and we talked about it, and he felt I could help him as I felt, and he made the changes,” Mr. Manafort said on CNN. “I work directly for the boss.”
In a release last week, the campaign announced that Mr. Trump was consolidating the functions related to the nomination process and assigning them to Mr. Manafort, who worked on conventions for former Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
“Working closely with Campaign Manager Corey R. Lewandowski and Deputy Campaign Manager Michael Glassner, Mr. Manafort will direct the campaign’s activities in areas including delegate operations, Washington, DC outreach and the DC office opening next week,” the campaign’s statement said.