Trump Makes Key Hire In Preparation For Contested Convention

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
Font Size:

The Donald Trump campaign has hired Paul Manafort as its campaign convention manager, a sign the campaign is preparing for a fight to wrangle delegates on the convention floor.

Manafort brings critical experience to the Trump campaign. He helped manage Gerald Ford’s efforts in the 1976 brokered convention.

“Paul Manafort, and the team I am building, bring the needed skill sets to ensure that the will of the Republican voters, not the Washington political establishment, determines who will be the nominee for the Republican Party,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday.

It has been reported recently that the Trump campaign has been outworked by rival Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] in the local and state level fights to have delegates friendly to the candidate at the convention. In Lousiana for example, Cruz supporters are five of the six members on the committee that writes the convention rules. (RELATED: Behind The Scenes Battle Being Waged For Delegate Slots At Republican Convention)

Ford isn’t the only campaign Manafort has worked on. The 66-year-old has been involved in the Reagan, H.W Bush, and Dole campaigns. He also previously worked in a lobbying firm with Trump adviser Roger Stone named Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly.

The firm at one point worked for Jonas Savimbi who overthrew the Angolan government en route to becoming a military dictator. The Trump campaign in its statement Tuesday wrote Paul, “worked on dozens of international political campaigns in an effort to bring democratic expertise to foreign countries.”

The announcement on Manafort’s hiring came along with the news that Trump is opening a Washington, D.C office to coordinate his work with the Republican National Committee and for congressional outreach.