Trump Gets Serious About Convention Fight, Plans To Open Shop In D.C.
The Trump campaign will open a Washington, D.C., office next week, part of a larger move the campaign is making toward becoming a more traditional political operation.
The plans were first announced last week, but the office opening will come following Donald Trump's bruising, 13-point loss to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
The campaign announced that with the D.C. office, it is "consolidating the functions related to the nomination process," which convention manager Paul Manafort will oversee. And the campaign said it expects to announce "several new positions and hires" in the next few weeks.
Trump's increasing emphasis on the nominating process comes amid criticism that star power may no longer be enough to get him a majority of delegates before the convention.
"The nomination process has reached a point that requires someone familiar with the complexities involved in the final stages. I am organizing these responsibilities under someone who has done this job successfully in many campaigns," Trump said in a press release.
Manafort has known Trump for decades and has been a lobbyist and consultant for four decades. He lives, at least part time, in Trump Tower in Manhattan, the Washington Post reported.
"Securing the Republican nomination is an intricate series of steps that requires a comprehensive strategy," Manafort said in a statement released by the campaign. "As part of the campaign team, my job is to secure and protect Mr. Trump's nomination and that is what we will do." He added that he is "honored" to work for Trump, who he feels is "on the verge of an incredible victory."
The campaign has reportedly faced a shakeup recently, having laid off the leader of its data team and dismantled field staff in Ohio and Florida, according to Politico. Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski disputed that report, saying that while some staff were let go, that was the "nature of a campaign." He added that the Trump campaign has the "most cohesive, loyal staff, the most loving staff I have ever had the privilege of working with on a campaign."