U.S. president-elect
U.S. president-elect

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shook up the top leadership of his campaign Wednesday, less than three months before Americans choose who will take over the White House in January.
He hired Stephen Bannon, a senior executive at the conservative news website Breitbart, to be campaign chief executive officer and promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager.
“They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win,” Trump said in a statement.
His campaign said Bannon’s position will involve oversight of staff and “major campaign initiatives,” while Conway will focus on “messaging” and frequently travel with the candidate.
The addition of new top advisors appeared to diminish the influence of Paul Manafort, who has been Trump’s campaign chairman since the Republican presidential candidate fired former campaign chief Corey Lewandowski in June. However Trump’s statement said the moves do not affect Manafort’s role.
Manafort has faced scrutiny for his ties to the pro-Russia former Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted in 2014. Wednesday’s shakeup comes days after The New York Times reported the existence of secret ledgers in Ukraine that show $12.7 million in cash designated for Manafort.
Manafort denied receiving any off-the-books cash payments for his work in Ukraine, calling the allegation “unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”
Trump is running for his first elected office and trails his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton by about six percentage points in a range of national polls.
On Wednesday, Trump is expected to get his first official national security briefing, a move that is done to ensure that whoever is chosen as the new president is informed when they take office in January.
Trump’s often spontaneous speaking style has raised some concerns that he could end up divulging information from the briefings.
“If they want to be president, they’ve got to start acting like a president,” President Barack Obama said last week. “And that means being able to receive these briefings and not spread them around.”
Trump appeared at a rally Tuesday evening in the state of Wisconsin, where he appealed to African-Americans, a demographic of voters that has largely supported Democrats in recent elections, including overwhelmingly voting for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Trump said Clinton talks down to minorities and that the Democratic Party as a whole has taken black voters for granted. He blamed Democratic policies for creating “more crimes, more broken homes and more poverty.”
But Trump faces a big challenge in actually getting those votes. Polls from this month indicate his support among registered African-American voters is in the single digits. A Los Angeles Times poll had Clinton beating him among black voters by a margin of 89 percent to 5 percent.


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