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Donald Trump's campaign manager resigns

Paul Manafort resigns as Donald Trump's campaign chief. Photograph: (Getty)

Agencies New York Aug 19, 2016, 02.59 PM (IST)
 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)
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