Meet Donald Trump’s new top campaign advisors
Battered by falling poll numbers and an erratic message, Donald Trump tried to right his presidential campaign Wednesday by adding two senior advisors and effectively demoting his campaign manager.
The overhaul marked Trump’s second top-level shakeup in two months and comes as the GOP nominee faces what increasingly appears to be an uphill general election race against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Who are Trump’s new top advisors?
Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, will assume the new position of campaign chief executive. Kellyanne Conway, who already served as an advisor, was promoted to campaign manager.
Donald Trump fined $10,000 for improper use of Trump Tower for campaign events
Donald Trump has been fined $10,000 for improper use of a Trump Tower atrium for campaign events in violation of an agreement intended to preserve public space.
The New York City Department of Buildings started an investigation this summer after the public atrium in Trump Tower was repeatedly closed and used for campaign events, according to Reuters, which first reported the investigation.
A public atrium is common in major skyscrapers in New York City in an effort to preserve public space as developers build ever larger office and residential buildings.
Trump was fined $10,000 in June for failing to show up to a court hearing regarding the removal of a bench from the atrium.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the bench was part of the public space agreement between Trump and the city.
Trump Tower Commercial LLC was ordered by the city in January to remove two Trump Store kiosks from the atrium, one of which sold campaign merchandise and accepted donations.
“The building owner removed kiosks and replaced a bench that’s required to be in the atrium,” the New York City Department of Buildings said in a statement. “However, the owner must still pay the $10,000 penalty levied earlier this year.”
Hillary Clinton visits with Paul McCartney in Ohio
Hillary Clinton took some time off the campaign trail in Ohio on Wednesday to visit with Paul McCartney.
The Democratic presidential nominee greeted McCartney backstage at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, according to a campaign aide. Reporters were not allowed to see their interaction, but were told after the meeting.
The legendary member of the Beatles is playing two nights as part of his “One on One” tour.
Clinton and McCartney talked about the campaign, their families and the Olympics, the aide said.
Clinton attended the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors when McCartney’s work was recognized.
Donald Trump losing to Hillary Clinton? ‘Says who?’
Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on Wednesday afternoon was on CNN, where he repeatedly pushed back against the fact that Trump is down in the polls to the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
He drafted a speech for the Republican convention. Now he says he can’t vote for Donald Trump.
Richard J. Cross III is a former political communications aide and speechwriter who lives in Baltimore. He wrote this for the Baltimore Sun:
I am a lifelong political animal and a longtime Maryland Republican. I worked on the staffs of Maryland Congresswoman Helen Bentley and Congressman/Gov. Bob Ehrlich. I also served on the GOP staff of the House Financial Services Committee.
I have lived my life, proudly, as a political moderate striving to make a positive contribution in and around the political arena — not an easy feat in deep blue Maryland, where an insular Democratic establishment has dominated state politics until very recently. But I have always been GOP to the core.
Growing up, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were my icons. My sense of party fealty is such that I worked on the paid GOP convention staff in Philadelphia in 2000, and again, just recently, as a professional volunteer on the speechwriting staff in Cleveland.
Q&A: UC Irvine economist who never met Donald Trump is now a key advisor
He’s never met Donald Trump or talked with the Republican nominee on the phone.
Yet Peter Navarro, a 67-year-old UC Irvine professor who ran unsuccessfully four times for public office as a Democrat, is now one of the leading voices on Trump’s economic advisory team.
After Trump’s big economic speech in Detroit this month, it was Navarro who launched the most public defense of Trumponomics, sparring with Hillary Clinton backers in a series of national news programs.
As the only academic and economics PhD (from Harvard University) on a team packed with wealthy businessmen, Navarro has proved to be adept at providing the statistics and economic theory to support Trump’s fulminations on America’s financial ills.
Clinton: Donald Trump ‘is still the same’
Hillary Clinton dismissed Donald Trump’s campaign restructuring as incidental, saying the real problem is the candidate himself.
At a campaign event in Cleveland on Wednesday, the Democrat cited poet Maya Angelou -- as she has often throughout the campaign during various Trump controversies: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
“I think it’s fair to say that Donald Trump has shown us who he is,” Clinton continued. “He can hire and fire anyone he wants from his campaign; they can make him read new words from a teleprompter. But he is still the same man who insults Gold Star families, demeans women, mocks people with disabilities, and thinks he knows more about ISIS than our generals.”
Clinton urged voters in the city where Republicans formally nominated Trump to talk to their friends who are still considering voting for him. “Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump,” she joked.
Clinton campaign: Trump shake-up a sign he’ll ‘double down’ on nasty, divisive attacks
The Clinton campaign said it was now expecting more of the kind of ugly, conspiracy-theory driven attacks from the Republicans that they have faced throughout the campaign, calling the shake-up a sign that Trump has “decided to double down on his most small, nasty and divisive instincts.”
Speaking with reporters, campaign manager Robby Mook focused most on Breitbart chief Stephen Bannon’s role in the campaign, noting the Southern Poverty Law Center’s rebuke of his “so-called news site” for veering into racist and anti-Semitic postings.
“No matter how much the establishment wants to clean Donald Trump up, get him on teleprompter and get him on message, he has officially won the fight to let Trump be Trump,” Mook said. “He keeps telling us who he is. It is time for us to believe him.”
Amid an effort by the Clinton campaign to specifically recruit endorsements by current and former Republican officials, Mook said Trump’s leadership shake-up may compel more to break with the GOP nominee.
“As a matter of principle, anyone who isn’t rejecting the kind of divisive rhetoric, the kind of wild accusations that Donald Trump makes needs to be held accountable for that,” he said. “I think all Americans should be standing together to reject the kind of divisive and erratic leadership that Donald Trump would represent.”
Trump’s new campaign manager: Leadership change is not ‘a shake-up’
Donald Trump’s newly appointed campaign manager wasted no time Wednesday in pledging to refocus on attacking Hillary Clinton and seeking to portray his leadership shuffle as a positive change.
“Some are calling it a shake-up,” Kellyanne Conway told Fox News hours after she was promoted along with new campaign CEO Steve Bannon. “It really is not; it doesn’t feel that way.”
She said Trump will still run as he sees fit.
“He is still his own best messenger because people see him as very authentic,” Conway said.
Trump’s campaign will try to capitalize on Clinton’s negative image among some independent voters and other groups, Conway said, adding that integrity matters to voters.
She implied that Trump’s skirmishes with the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq and others, which have distracted from his message, have turned off voters.
“This is like a tennis match. ... You don’t pick a fight with the ref. You don’t boo the crowd,” she said.
Top Clinton backer on shuffling of Trump campaign: ‘You can’t fix Trump’
Donald Trump’s campaign shake-up won’t change his nature, a top backer of Hillary Clinton warned Wednesday.
Trump announced that Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon will run his campaign. But Trump’s temperament is what really concerns voters, argued Paul Begala, a former aide to Bill Clinton who now heads the main super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.
“He plows right through that fence, he goes and bites the neighbor’s kid or … the POW, or the disabled folks, right, or people from Mexico or people who are Muslims,” Begala said on CNN’s “New Day.” “This is all about Trump.”
Trump is clearly betting on his unpredictable nature to win over voters, Begala said.
“You can’t fix Trump,” he said. “They’ve tried.”
Former Trump campaign manager: New advisors will take a fresh fight to Clinton
Donald Trump’s newest campaign leaders “want to win at all costs,” former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Wednesday.
Lewandowski was fired in June and replaced by Paul Manafort, who will stay on but will no longer run the campaign after Trump hired Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon as CEO and Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager.
Bannon’s hiring suggests that Trump wants to return to the looser style of campaigning he did under Lewandowski. Manafort’s hiring in June was portrayed as a desire to make the campaign more disciplined and in line with what Republican Party leaders sought.
Lewandowski, who since leaving the campaign and working as a CNN analyst has barely disguised his disdain for Manafort, predicted that the latest move would help Trump more aggressively take on rival Hillary Clinton.
“[Breitbart] has attacked the mainstream media on multiple occasions,” Lewandowski said on CNN’s “New Day,” explaining what Bannon offers the campaign: “... That’s the type of mindset the campaign wants to prove to the Clinton people, that they’re going to take this fight directly to her.”
He added that Bannon comes out like a “street fighter,” and he doesn’t fear taking on people such as Clinton.
“He’s a person who is willing to go right at his opponents and make sure that they know that in politics … all’s fair in love and war.”
Lewandowski also touted Conway’s ability to reach out to groups of voters that Trump has alternately ignored, attacked or struggled with, such as women, Latinos and blacks.
“She is someone who’s been a part of the Trump world and Trump orbit for a long time,” he said.” “She’s a trusted advisor.”
How Breitbart became pro-Trump with Steve Bannon in charge
Donald Trump’s new campaign chief executive comes from Breitbart, a media outlet so friendly to Trump that even conservative critics have labeled it “Trumpbart.”
Amid the heated GOP primary season, The Times’ Matt Pearce examined how, under Bannon, the site helped fulfill founder Andrew Breitbart’s prediction that Republicans would eventually cede their party to a celebrity candidate.
But the pro-Trump editorial direction of the site also caused a deep division within Breitbart’s site that he did not predict, Pearce wrote.
Brian Williams will get a late-night news program in final weeks of campaign
Brian Williams is getting a new — and for now temporary — late-night news program, his first regular time slot since joining MSNBC.
Starting in September, the former “NBC Nightly News” anchor will helm a live wrap-up of the day’s political coverage at 11 p.m. ET. According to an MSNBC executive not authorized to comment publicly on the matter, the program will run through the presidential election in November.
Who is Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO?
Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, brings with him from conservative news operation Breitbart News a combative and feisty personality.
Bloomberg News has a good look at Bannon, its reporter having spent time with him last year just as the wild Republican primary season was heating up. Bannon did stints as a Hollywood producer and investment banker before getting into politics, spurred in part by the 9/11 attacks; he met website founder Andrew Breitbart at a screening of a documentary Bannon made about former President Reagan, “In the Face of Evil.”
His ascension into Trump’s inner circle comes from his full-throated backing of the nominee; during Trump’s campaign, Bannon has steered Breitbart to a decidedly pro-Trump bent, and not without controversy.
“If there’s an explosion or a fire somewhere,” Breitbart editor Matthew Boyle told Bloomberg, “Steve’s probably nearby with some matches.”
Republicans run for reelection — and away from Trump — as GOP tries to keep control of Senate
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte may be voting for Donald Trump, but she really doesn’t like talking about it.
Unfortunately for the New Hampshire senator — and several of her GOP colleagues in battleground states — it’s a question that keeps coming up.
“Listen, I’ve said what my position is,” she said with slight exasperation during an interview at a campaign stop in her hometown of Nashua to help volunteers stuff care packages for overseas military troops.
Over the last month, Ayotte, who is facing a tough reelection battle this fall, stood by the combative GOP presidential nominee despite his attacks on the Gold Star parents of a fallen U.S. soldier, his suggestion that “2nd Amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from choosing Supreme Court justices and even his initial refusal to endorse Ayotte herself following her critiques of some of his statements.
“I’m beating her in the polls by a lot,” Trump boasted earlier this month, saying his support in New Hampshire was better than hers.
Donald Trump shakes up campaign by hiring executive from Breitbart News to top post
Republican Donald Trump has shaken up his campaign again, it was revealed Wednesday, bringing in Breitbart News’ Stephen Bannon as chief executive and promoting pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager.
The move comes just 82 days before the November election and represents yet another overhaul of the organization in a tumultuous quest for the White House.
In a brief phone interview with the Associated Press early Wednesday, Trump confirmed the news, calling the pair “big people” who he said would help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the fall.
“I’ve known both of them for a long time. They’re terrific people, they’re winners, they’re champs, and we need to win it,” said the billionaire real estate mogul.
Donald Trump reaches out to African Americans, says Democrats take black vote for granted
After a year of waging a campaign marked by divisive and racially coded rhetoric, Donald Trump delivered his first overt plea to African Americans on Tuesday night, vowing to improve schools, create jobs and foster safer communities.
Trump, speaking 30 miles from a Milwaukee neighborhood engulfed in riots and protests over the weekend in the wake of the shooting of a black man by a police officer, said he would restore safety within inner cities beset by violence, while castigating Democrats as out of touch with the needs of minority voters.
“Our job is to not make life more comfortable for the rioter or the robber or the looter,” said Trump to supporters in West Bend, Wis., a city where the black population hovers around 1%, according to recent Census data. “Our job is to make life more comfortable for the African American parent who wants their kids to be able to safely — safely — walk the streets and walk to school. Or the senior citizen waiting for a bus.”