With just over two weeks until the Republican National Convention and five months until the general election, one of Donald Trump’s senior advisors admits that the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign “frankly is getting organized.”
Paul Manafort, the chairman of Trump’s campaign, appeared on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” where he dismissed reports that Trump had a late start versus rival Hillary Clinton. “The campaign has now transitioned to a new phase,” Manafort argued. “We’re now in the general election mode of the campaign.”
Manafort revealed that the Trump campaign is mobilizing with new leadership. “We are fully now integrated with the Republican National Committee. This week we’ll be making some major announcements of people who are taking over in major positions in our national campaign as well as in our state campaigns.”
These leadership announcements come one week after Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — who guided Trump through the primaries to the nomination — was fired. Lewandowski is now a political analyst with CNN.
“Do you acknowledge that you’re behind both organizationally and in the polls?” “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked (an NBC poll shows Trump trailing Clinton by five points).
“No,” Manafort replied. “What you’re trying to do is compare an 800-person organization of Ms. Clinton’s with an integrated system of the RNC and the Trump campaign. … We’re confident that we’re not behind the Clinton campaign. They’re muscle-bound. We’re not.”
Manafort did reveal that the Trump campaign will be flexing its muscle in 16 battleground states in the upcoming months.
Check out the full interview below.