Meet the two new strategists heading up Donald Trump's campaign

Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway differ markedly in their political styles

Meet the two new strategists heading up Donald Trump's campaign

Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon | Photos: PA Images

Donald Trump has shaken up his campaign team for the second time in two months in a bid to boost poor polling figures.

The Republican presidential candidate appointed Steve Bannon, the head of the conservative Breitbart News website, as campaign CEO.

Kellyanne Conway, an experienced GOP pollster, was promoted to the position of campaign manager.

The overhaul sidelined previous chairman Paul Manafort, a longtime Republican adviser whose work with a pro-Russian party in Ukraine has come under increasing scrutiny.

Manafort has since resigned, but Trump’s inner circle of strategists now expands to include two apparently more senior appointees.

Trump described the new hires as "extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win," but is that true, and who are they?

Steve Bannon

The man once described as the “most dangerous political operative in America” is a political maverick known for running the right-wing Breitbart News.

The self-described populist website regularly attacks both Hillary Clinton and the Republican establishment.

Earlier this year, Breitbart’s former editor-at-large Ben Shapiro accused Bannon of turning the outlet into Trump’s "personal Pravda."

He and reporter Michelle Fields both resigned after the site published an article casting doubt on allegations that she was assaulted by Lewandowski.

The Trump campaign said Bannon was temporarily stepping down from his role with Breitbart to “oversee the campaign staff and operations in addition to strategic oversight of major campaign initiatives”.  

The former investment banker and naval officer wrote and directed The Undefeated, a 2011 documentary charting the rise of Sarah Palin.  

He also played a key role in funding Clinton Cash, a 2015 book investigating donations to the Clinton Foundation charity, which aimed to discredit the now Democratic candidate.

His hiring appears to signify a rejection of attempts by veteran Republican operatives to tone down Trump’s combative rhetoric.

In an interview earlier this week, Lewandowski described Bannon’s style as “win at all costs”.

“I think that makes some people on the left very afraid because [Breitbart is] willing to say and do things that others in the mainstream media wouldn’t do,” he told CNN.

Kellyanne Conway

The new Trump campaign manager, a veteran pollster, has a markedly different political style to Bannon.

One of the most senior women on the team, she has worked to boost Trump’s profile among female voters, regularly promoting him in measured TV appearances.

Conway is the founder and president of the Polling Company/WomanTrend, a Washington-based consulting firm whose clients include large corporations, media outlets and conservative groups.

The former lawyer is also known for working as a consultant to former Republican Senate candidate Todd Aken, who famously claimed that women were biologically capable of blocking pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape”.

She co-authored the 2005 book What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.

Conway initially backed Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination, and headed up a pro-Cruz Super Pac, before joining the Trump campaign as a senior adviser in July. 

Her new role is expected to involve work on messaging and frequent travel on the campaign trail.

In an interview last month with the Washington Post, she insisted she was unconcerned about her new boss's history of offensive remarks about women.

“The more that people keep repeating the same insults, the more it invites him to very legitimately defend himself,” she said.

“Women look at the full measure of the man, not just one comment.”