Trump campaign manager: Manafort was asked to leave
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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was asked to resign, the campaign said Friday. 


Trump's newly hired campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the decision was mutual.

“He was asked and he indeed tended his resignation today,” Conway said on WABC radio’s "Drive at Five" hosted by Rita Cosby.

“Mr. Trump accepted his resignation and wished him well and thanked him for his service. I think it’s as simple as that," she said in the interview, first reported by Buzzfeed

Trump earlier today said in a statement that Manafort offered his resignation.

Manafort resigned Friday just two days after Trump brought on Steven Bannon as campaign chief executive and Conway as campaign manager. 

The moves were seen as a de facto demotion for Manafort, even though the campaign stressed that he was keeping his position at the time.

"In the conversations in which I participated, it was a mutual and a mutually respectful decision," Conway said Friday.

“The last couple weeks have been very rough at the campaign, and Donald Trump was to perhaps — the speeches focusing on substance, getting into the last 11, 12 weeks, Rita, of a fought campaign — and he has every privilege of surrounding himself with the team that he wants,” she said.

Manafort was under increased scrutiny over his involvement with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. A New York Times investigation last week found that more than $12 million in cash payments were secretly earmarked for Manafort. On Friday, CNN reported that he was being investigated by the FBI and Justice Department.

Eric Trump suggested Friday the mounting controversies surrounding Manafort played a role in his departure. 

"My father didn't want to be, you know, distracted by whatever Paul was dealing with," Eric Trump said, lauding Manafort's work for the campaign.

"My father just didn't want to have the distraction looming over the campaign and quite frankly looming over all the issues that Hillary's facing right now."