Part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump — who’s been “projecting an image” on the stump but is transitioning into a “real different guy” — has hired New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s former presidential campaign manager and opened a Washington, D.C.-area office to build relations with members of Congress and map delegate strategy.
Former Christie campaign manager Ken McKay will serve Trump as “senior adviser to support the delegate operations team” as Trump tries to lock up the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.
“Ken has a proven track record in winning state political races,” Trump said in a statement released by his campaign. “He will support our delegate operations team and bolster our ground game efforts. He brings tremendous experience to the job, and I know he is up to the task of working with my team.”
Trump has relied primarily on political outsiders for most of his campaign, but McKay is the latest veteran GOP operative brought on in recent weeks. Trump has also hired former Scott Walker campaign manager Rick Wiley and former Ben Carson adviser Ed Brookover. And he recently brought on longtime Republican strategist Paul Manafort as a senior adviser who appears to have eclipsed the influence campaign manager and “protective bubble” enforcer Corey Lewandowski.
Manafort was the one who assured Republican National Committee members in Hollywood last week that a more establishment-friendly version of Trump will emerge soon.
“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose…You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy,” Manafort told the RNC members.
The Washington Post reports that much of Trump’s new brain trust met today at a new Washington-area headquarters in Alexandria, Va.