Manafort was asked to resign and he obliged, according to new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. She told WABC, “He was asked, and he indeed tendered his resignation today.”
Trump said in a statement, “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.”
Manafort originally joined the campaign as the convention manager, tasked with coordinating the campaign’s efforts as it pertained to delegates. Senator Ted Cruz, despite not winning the primaries or caucuses, was winning delegates from states, a fact that Trump publicly bemoaned.
There was behind the scenes drama as the campaign split into two camps, one favoring Manafort and the other backing then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Manafort won out and Lewandowski left the campaign.
Lewandowski has kept the feud alive from his side, not always supporting Manafort.
Manafort also began to be a distraction for the campaign due to his ties to the former pro-Russia Ukrainian government. Manafort had advised Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine and recent reporting indicated that Manafort had not fulfilled the reporting requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Not doing so is a felony.
Eric Trump, speaking on Fox News, suggested that Manafort was removed because of the growing controversy over his Russian and Ukrainian ties. “My father just didn’t want to have the distraction looming over the campaign, and, quite frankly, looming over all the issues Hillary is facing right now,” he said.