Trump hires right-wing figure as Clinton dominates polls

Trump hires right-wing figure as Clinton dominates polls
3 min read
17 August, 2016
Donald Trump on Wednesday hired the executive chairman of the right-wing website Breitbart News as his campaign CEO, signalling an unwillingness to moderate his campaign.
Trump is polling behind Clinton in every key battleground state [Getty]

Donald Trump on Wednesday announced the second restructure of his campaign team in two months, as Hillary Clinton continues to dominate the polls.

The Republican presidential nominee hired Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of the right-wing website Breitbart News as his campaign CEO and promoted Kellyanne Conway, a leading Republican strategist to campaign manager.

The moves signal that Trump plans to embrace his populist, outsider persona in the campaign's final stretch rather than moderate and extend a hand to more traditional Republicans.

"I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win this election, and ultimately become president," the New York billionaire announced.

The Clinton campaign denounced the shake-up and accused Bannon of presiding over a website that "peddles divisive, at times racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."

"We absolutely expect with this change for Donald Trump and the campaign as a whole to double down on more hateful, divisive rhetoric, more conspiracy theories, more wild accusations," said Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook.

"He has officially won the fight to let Trump be Trump," he told reporters. "He keeps telling us who he is, it's time that we believe him."

A string of prominent Republicans have announced they will not be voting for Trump as US newspapers report of a campaign in crisis and staffers unnerved by a candidate apparently incapable of reeling in crass remarks.

The shake-up comes with Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort under fire in the press after being named in a Ukrainian corruption scandal.

Clinton is leading Trump, 47.3 percent to 41.2 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.

Trump languishes behind her in virtually every key battleground state, raising the prospect of a Clinton landslide win.

The Republican nominee has been badly damaged since denigrating the parents of a Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq, and was accused last week of inciting violence against Clinton in a remark about the right to bear arms.

A string of prominent Republicans have announced they will not be voting for Trump as US newspapers report of a campaign in crisis and staffers unnerved by a candidate apparently incapable of reeling in crass remarks.

While his media-saturated, populist, outsider campaign fended off 16 rivals to win the Republican nomination, Trump has refuted suggestions that he should change tack to win the November election from the center.

"Everybody talks about, 'Oh well, you're gonna pivot'... I don't wanna pivot," he told Wisconsin news station WKBT-TV. "I mean you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you're not being honest with people."

It is the second personnel shake-up at the top since June 20 when Trump dropped his first manager, Corey Lewandowski, who was sidelined by Manafort and courted controversy after allegedly grabbing a Breitbart reporter.

Bannon, is a former naval officer and investment banker. An October 2015 profile by Bloomberg Politics described him as "the most dangerous political operative in America."

Agencies contributed to this report.