His departure, according to sources within the campaign, was a “long time coming." Lewandowski had long feuded with Manafort; their aides both in private and public could barely contain their disdain for each other.
Minutes after the news of Lewandowski’s firing broke, Michael Caputo, an adviser and Manafort ally gleefully tweeted:
Caputo has since resigned.
Staffers privately complained about Lewandowski meddling in campaign operations, making it difficult to complete tasks and hire more people. Sources within the campaign tell ABC News that the impetus to fire Lewandowski came from perhaps Trump’s most trusted advisors; his children.
The eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., admitted that all the children were of one accord when it came to the recommendation.
“I think it’s fair but in many respects he was coming to that on his own. We were there to help augment that and really think it through with him,” he told Bloomberg’s “With all Due Respect."
Trump also called the departure “amicable” and was confident that the campaign would move on.
“You have a campaign that’s transitioning, we’re going from candidate to presumptive nominee to actual nominee and I think there’s a great evolution in that,” he added.
In recent weeks, Trump’s poll numbers had lagged; he has placed behind Clinton in most recent national polls.
But senior aides stressed to ABC News that the firing was not in response to any recent events but had been a growing murmur for months. Lewandowski’s famous slogan, “Let Trump be Trump” is how he operated. Many within and outside the campaign long accused him of enabling some of Trump’s more divisive and controversial positions, including Trump’s remark that an American judge presiding over one of his cases couldn’t be impartial due to his “Mexican heritage.”
On Monday, Lewandowski stood behind those comments in an interview with CNN. “He's calling into question his ability to give a fair and honest assessment of the evidence which is presented to them and I think that's okay to do.”
Sources familiar with the decision tell ABC News that the decision to fire Lewandowski had been made over the weekend and that Monday’s meeting solidified it. It came as a surprise to many lower level staffers, man of who found out the news by reading and listening to news reports.
Lewandowski had traveled with Trump all this weekend, to campaign stops and fundraisers in Texas, Nevada, and Arizona.
One source tells ABC News that Manafort, who has essentially had control over the campaign since becoming its chair, will become the campaign manager.
Even some donors, a class Trump needs to woo to catch up with Clinton in funds, who were reluctant to accept Trump’s more bombastic rhetoric seemed relieved. “I think this move is viewed pretty positively,” one donor told ABC News, requesting anonymity to speak freely.
But now, it seems, Lewandowski’s luck has run out. He plans to return to his native New Hampshire where he will chair the New Hampshire delegation to this summer’s convention. As a delegate, he said he still plans to vote for Trump.
“I’m going to make sure that every delegate there votes for Trump and I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure he gets elected,” Lewandowski told ABC.