Donald Trump fired his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks announced Monday in a statement. Paul Manafort, a well-known strategist Trump hired in April, will take over as the new campaign manager.

Lewandowski has not offered any comments on the circumstances of his firing, but in a statement read on CNN, he praised Mr. Trump as the Republican nominee and declared he was “better than Hillary Clinton ever will be.”

The 67-year-old Manafort was first involved in Trump’s campaign in March when he helped select delegates. Since then, he has been considered as a high-profile campaign leader.

 A source told The Guardian that Lewandowski was very surprised by the news as Trump informed him Monday morning in Trump Tower. Image Credit: Vanity Fair
A source told The Guardian that Lewandowski was very surprised by the news as Trump informed him Monday morning in Trump Tower. Image Credit: Vanity Fair

Others told the newspaper that campaign members learned from the media that the campaign manager had been fired, given that the decision had not been shared internally.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Lewandowski said Monday that Paul Manafort had been controlling the campaign operations since April 7. CNN also managed to reach Lewandowski, who said he did not know the answer to the reason for his firing.

“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” Hicks, said in a statement, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

Hicks added that the campaign staff thanked Lewandowski for his valuable work throughout the campaign and included best wishes for his future. He is still expected to be the chairperson of New Hampshire’s delegation to the Cleveland convention.

Lewandowski seemed to be opposing new campaign strategies

A source in contact with Trump aides, who was not authorized by the billionaire to discuss the firing publicly, told the Daily Mail that the presidential candidate decided to fire Lewandowski after hearing recommendations of his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who play important roles as campaign advisors.

One source involved in the campaign trail told The Guardian that Ivanka Trump was unpleased by a conflict between Lewandowski and Hope Hicks. The two reportedly took part in a public screaming match last month in midtown Manhattan.

AP reported that Lewandowski said Monday his relationships with both Manafort and Trump’s daughter were right.

Another person close to the campaign told the newspaper that some members of the staff considered the former campaign manager opposed strategic changes and hires they thought were critical to defeating Hillary Clinton.

Trump has denied that Lewandowski and Manafort struggled to work well together. But several people familiar with the campaign have told the Daily Mail that while Manafort wanted the likely Republican candidate to hire more staff and change the way he referred to his rivals in public, Lewandowski reportedly believed Trump’s unique campaigning style should not be altered given his success during the whole process. In fact, Lewandowski often said “Let Trump be Trump,” defending his fiery strategy.

Manafort is not receiving payment for his critical role in Trump’s campaign, according to The Guardian. He is a longtime lobbyist who represented former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, among other controversial foreign clients. Manafort also used to be a business partner of Trump advisor Roger Stone, who left the campaign in 2015 due to issues with Lewandowski.

Source: The Guardian