Trump Campaign Management, Surrogates Under Fire

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Everett, Washington, U.S., August 30, 2016.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Everett, Washington, U.S., August 30, 2016.

Donald Trump’s campaign staff and roster of surrogates include some of the most questionable individuals to greatly influence a modern-day presidential campaign.

Mr. Trump’s new campaign CEO Stephen Bannon is, The Washington Post reports, facing scrutiny over allegations that he abused his ex-wife Mary Louise Piccard in the past. According to CBS, “Bannon was charged in 1996 with misdemeanor witness intimidation, domestic violence with traumatic injury and battery, according to a Santa Monica, California, police report.” News sources are also questioning why Bannon is registered to vote from a vacant Florida address.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort resigned in mid-August after revelations of prior lobbying for dubious Russian interests in the Ukraine.

Prior to Manafort’s reign, Corey Lewandowski was fired as campaign manager. CNN reported, “With Lewandowski leading the campaign, Trump volleyed from one controversy to the next: unleashing attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage and suggesting that President Barack Obama perhaps played a role in the Orlando massacre.” In March, Mr. Lewandowski himself brought negative publicity to the Trump campaign after Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery against a female reporter.

Recently hired was Bill Stepien, a former aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. National media sources have covered Stepien’s significant role in Christie’s Bridgegate Scandal.  According to The New York Times, “Mr. Stepien (has) refused to turn over documents or otherwise cooperate with a legislative committee investigating the lane closing scandals, asserting his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.”

Trump surrogate Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, made headlines recently when he remarked, “Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers.” Earlier this summer, Mr. Trump told the Portland Press Herald, “I have a lot of respect for your governor. Paul is terrific, he’s doing a great job.”

For a candidate who cites his management skills as a qualification for being president, Donald J. Trump seems to have had a difficult time managing his own campaign.

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