Donald Trump walks onto the stage before an Ohio rally. Photograph: (Getty)
Citing personal reasons, the man in charge of Trump's vital and much-maligned field operations backs away just 19 prior to the election
Jim Murphy, Donald Trump's national political director, is "stepping back" from the campaign, according to three sources close to the campaign, Politico reports. This move comes just 19 days prior to the November 8 election.
"I have not resigned but for personal reasons have had to take a step back from the campaign," Murphy said in a statement given to the Politico. He did not explain his reasoning any further.
Murphy, a longtime operative for the Republican Party, played a crucial role in setting up field programs in battleground, or hotly-contested, states. He was also a key liason between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Murphy's departure comes as Republicans fear that their party's infrastructure lags far behind Clinton's, which may impact not just the outcome of the election but could negatively affect the party across the ballot.
Murphy was a close ally with the Trump campaign's former manager, Paul Manafort, who resigned back in August.
Manafort replaced Corey Landowski, who had been fired from the campaign after allegations arose that he forcefully grabbed a reporter from Breitbart at a Trump rally, an incident which was caught on video tape.