Donald Trump hires Breitbart News exec for top campaign position

James Nickerson
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Trump said Bannon is a champ (Source: Getty)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has shaken up his campaign team by appointing Breitbart News' executive chairman as his campaign's chief exec.

Stephen Bannon's appointment comes at a time when Trump trails rival Hillary Clinton substantially in the polls in some key battleground states and after a number of controversies.

Breitbart, a right-wing website, has been favourable of Trump in their political coverage.

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The move is seen by many as a demotion for Paul Manafort as the Trump campaign gears up in the presidential race.

Manafort had taken over after the departure of Corey Lewandowski in June, having had a bumpy relationship with the national media, as well as members of the Republican National Committee.

Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway, a pollster, has been promoted to campaign manager for Trump and his running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence.

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Trump told the Associated Press that he appointed Bannon and Conway because they are "big people" who can help him overcome Clinton.

"I’ve known both of them for a long time. They’re terrific people, they’re winners, they’re champs, and we need to win it," Trump said.