Donald Trump will open a campaign office in Washington, D.C. — the first major office outside of the candidate’s New York City-based campaign — setup for the purpose of managing delegates and creating inroads with Congress ahead of the Republican convention.
The Trump campaign announced Paul J. Manafort will head up the operation and serve as the campaign’s convention manager, according to a Tuesday press release. Trump is eyeing office property near Capitol Hill so his staff can build relationships with Congress, reports The Hill.
The D.C.-based campaign office will,”coordinate his campaign’s work with the Republican National Committee, Congress, and his convention and delegate operations,” according to the press release. “The office will serve as a conduit for outreach for Mr. Trump’s campaign organization nationally.”
The Trump campaign says this move signals the business mogul will be the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. Officials on the Trump campaign also say they can now begin a dialogue with members of Congress, many of whom are anxious about a Trump presidency, reports The Washington Examiner.
“It’s an acknowledgement that he’s the nominee: he’s the presumptive nominee,” Trump campaign adviser Barry Bennett told The Washington Examiner. “Having an office here in Washington and working with them [Congress] every day will make it a lot easier to do that.”
Manafort previously worked on the presidential campaigns of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, overseeing convention operations. Trump is aiming to lock down the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before the convention. The real estate mogul currently has 736.
“I am honored to serve Mr. Trump’s campaign, and look forward to helping secure his nomination as the Republican nominee for President,” Manafort said in the statement. “Mr. Trump has tapped into the growing disillusionment with the Washington political establishment. What he has achieved so far is historic. I am confident that he will be the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States.”
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