Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigns after reshuffle

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has resigned two days after he was sidelined in a reshuffle for the stumbling White House bid.

In a statement, Mr Trump said Mr Manafort had offered his resignation on Friday morning.

The Republican nominee praised Mr Manafort’s work on the campaign and called him a “true professional”.

On Wednesday, the campaign overhauled its management for the second time in as many months, added two new top officials in a move widely seen as a demotion for Mr Manafort.

Earlier this week allegations emerged that Mr Manafort had received payments from the political party of the Kremlin-backed former leader of Ukraine.

Mr Manafort was working as a consultant in 2012 on behalf of the political party of Ukraine’s then-President, Viktor Yanukovich.

Mr Manafort denies claims he received cash payments worth more than $12m over five years that were itemised on secret ledgers.

The Trump campaign turmoil came as his team released its first campaign ad for November’s White House election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

In the 30-second spot, Two Americas: Immigration, a male narrator warns that Syrian refugees will inundate the US unless Mr Trump is elected president.

“In Hillary Clinton’s America, the system stays rigged against Americans,” claims the voice, over a track of doom-laden music.

“Syrian refugees flood in, illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open.”

The music turns uplifting as the narrator says: “Donald Trump’s America is secure.

“Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secure. Our families: safe.”

“In Hillary Clinton’s America, the system stays rigged against Americans,” claims the ad’s male narrator over a track of doom-laden music.

“Syrian refugees flood in, illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open.”

The music turns uplifting as the narrator says: “Donald Trump’s America is secure.

“Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secure. Our families: safe.”

The campaign says it will spend nearly $5m to run the ad in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida, four pivotal battleground states.

The Clinton campaign and her supporters have so far outspent Trump 15-1 on television ads.

In the past week, Mr Trump has abandoned his shoot-from-the-hip style, instead using a teleprompter at every rally.

Late on Thursday, Mr Trump barely touched on immigration during a speech in which he expressed regrets for unspecified past remarks.

He told a crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina: “Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing.

“I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.”

His recent disparaging of the family of a Muslim American soldier who died in Iraq in 2004, after the soldier’s father spoke out against Trump at the Democratic National Convention last month, does not appear to have gone down well in opinion polls.

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