Political ‘Hunger Games’ roils Trump’s inner circle

Source: Politico | April 8, 2016 | Kenneth P. Vogel, Ben Schreckinger and Eli Stokols

Front-runner’s adult children huddle with their father as staff divides among three competing aides.

Donald Trump’s campaign overhaul has inflamed an internecine struggle among three of his closest advisors, creating an atmosphere that multiple sources likened to a political “Hunger Games.”

According to interviews with more than a dozen people on or close to the campaign, staffers are increasingly dividing themselves into competing factions aligned with Trump’s three top officials – embattled campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who still commands deep loyalty among many of the people he hired; deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner, who has a growing group of supporters; and newly hired strategist Paul Manafort, who was elevated this week and is building his own fiefdom.

Trump’s expansion of Manafort’s portfolio to include a wide swath of campaign strategy, coupled with other related moves, were intended partly to address organizational deficiencies in a campaign run for months by Lewandowski – one that underestimated rival Ted Cruz’s ability to compete and failed to prepare for the delegate battle that will decide a contested GOP convention.

Multiple sources tell POLITICO that Trump increasingly came to realize the limitations of his team during the run-up to last week’s loss in the Wisconsin primary. That stretch coincided with his daughter Ivanka Trump having a baby, which limited her availability as a trusted adviser to her father. He was even caught off guard when he appeared on a Wisconsin conservative radio show without being informed that the host Charlie Sykes was leading the state’s #NeverTrump brigade, and he lost the state by double digits a week later.

The day after Cruz won Wisconsin, Trump met privately with Manafort, then Lewandowski was informed of the new campaign structure in which Manafort has primary authority on many strategic decisions previously handled by Lewandowski or his allies.

“Paul is not entering this campaign as a technician,” one Trump associate said. “He’s entering as a strategist.”

Additionally, in recent days, Ivanka Trump and her brothers Eric and Don Jr. have been huddling with their father in his office at Trump Tower as he attends to his business holdings and plots a path forward for his suddenly sputtering presidential campaign.

But Trump’s allies worry that the efforts to build a more serious campaign organization may be coming too late. The billionaire real estate showman’s path to the GOP nomination narrowed substantially after a lopsided loss in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, combined with the increasing effectiveness of Cruz’s delegate courtship and signs of traction with the #NeverTrump movement.

And there are signs of trouble for Trump in the upcoming states, where he has little margin for error if he hopes to lock up the nomination before the GOP convention.


Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Discussion
  • Consistent #4150

    silver pines #4160

    We can all hope and pray that NONE of the problems get ironed out. 🙂

    slhancock1948 #4163

    Yes, I’ll pray for that!

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.