Donald Trump and his campaign have completely defied expectations this cycle. He has been able to win a densely crowded Republican nomination with a minuscule campaign staff — a testament to the strength of his name and incredible ability to self promote.
According to The Huffington Post, Trump has 70 paid staffers on his team, about 10% of the 731 staffers paid by the Clinton campaign. As the pressure to expand becomes greater, rifts and shortfalls in the Trump camp have become evident.
The first big shift came in March, when Trump hired highly regarded political operative Paul Manafort. Manafort has been slowly gaining more sway within the campaign to the dismay of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Politico was reportedly told by a California Republican privy to the inner workings of the campaign that Lewandowski is “going to people and saying, ‘I need your help. We need to get rid of Paul.’”
Just a few days ago, the Trump campaign promoted Manafort to Campaign Chairman and Chief Strategist, taking a clear leading role within the campaign.
That's bad news for Lewandowski, whom Trump-supporter and longtime Manafort associate Roger Stone has dubbed “Loserdowski.” Sounds like the perfect setup for a new season of "The Apprentice: Campaign 2016."
Adding to the drama, campaign sources told New York the Trump campaign will look to keep Manafort and Lewandowski away from each other. Manafort will move up to the renovated 14th floor of Trump Tower at the beginning of next month, where The Apprentice set was housed, whereas Lewandowski will remain in the unfinished 5th-floor offices.
Lack of oversight of campaign staff seems to be plaguing the small media apparatus within the campaign. Top spokeswoman Hope Hicks made headlines yesterday when she sent an email meant for Trump advisor Michael Caputo to Politico writer Mark Caputo. The email pointed to possible attacks on Clinton over the Whitewater scandal, investigated in the 1990s.
The Republican party is deeply aware that the Trump campaign will need serious help to mount a challenge to match the Clinton-DNC machine this fall. It has already reserved $150 million in digital video ads and finalized joint fundraising vehicles with the Trump campaign.