Paul Manafort has been under fire in connection with a Ukrainian corruption investigation
Paul Manafort resigned as chairman of US Republican candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign on Friday, days after he was effectively demoted in a shake-up of the campaign's leadership.
"This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign," Trump said in a statement.
"I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success," Trump said.
On Wednesday, Trump overhauled his presidential campaign team, hiring the head of a conservative news website to bolster his combative image and to try to reverse poor opinion poll numbers in the race against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for the November 8 election.
The move, his second staff revamp in less than two months, essentially served as demotion for Manafort, who was brought on in June in an attempt to bring a more professional touch, but has struggled to rein in Trump's freewheeling ways.
Manafort has also come under increased scrutiny in recent days over alleged ties with pro-Russian political groups in Ukraine.
Earlier on Friday, a Ukrainian lawmaker offered more details of what he said were payments made to Manafort by the political party of the Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich.
Manafort, in a statement earlier this week, has denied the allegations, which were first made in The New York Times on Monday.
Also on Friday, Ukraine's anti-corruption body has released entries from once-secret accounting documents that purport to show payments from a pro-Russian political party earmarked for Donald Trump's campaign chairman.
The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Paul Manafort helped Ukraine's Party of Regions secretly route at least $2.2 million to two Washington lobbying firms. Manafort told Yahoo News that AP's account was wrong.
The documents now released show Manafort's name listed as a recipient of funds totaling $12.7 million in 22 line-item entries.
Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau said, however, that it cannot prove that Manafort actually received the money because other people including a prominent Party of the Regions deputy signed for him in those entries.
(Reuters and PTI)