After several high profile incidents involving Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the candidate continued to stand by his man, insisting that he was in the right and wasn’t going anywhere. And true to his word, Lewandowski was not fired, remaining by his side at events and on the campaign plane. But in the days which followed, according to some sources, Corey may be on the scene but his role is slowly diminishing as others take over key duties. (Politico)

In public, Donald Trump is standing behind embattled campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as he faces battery charges for grabbing a reporter. But behind the scenes, Lewandowski’s role in the campaign is shrinking.

In early March, Lewandowski ceded authority over many hiring decisions to a lower-ranking staffer. In recent days, the campaign’s press office has been overruling his decisions about issuing credentials for campaign events. Going forward, Trump’s just-named convention manager, Paul Manafort, is expected to take a leading role not just in the selection of delegates, but in the remaining primaries themselves, according to three people on or close to the campaign.

There’s ample reason to treat this report with at least a modicum of skepticism. Speaking as someone who has been on staff on campaigns, the roles of staffers do tend to shift and evolve as the campaign grinds through the early days and eventually toward the finish line. The CM’s role, of course, remains near the top of the pile, but many tasks wind up being delegated to others and specialists are brought onboard as the beast grows. (And when you hit frontrunner status in a presidential campaign it’s going to grow a lot.) The talk of Michael Glassner being moved up to a deputy campaign manager role generated rumors, but by the time they hit the general election (if Trump secures the nomination) there will almost certainly be more than one person at that level, so that’s all part of the normal evolution.

But at the same time, some of the tasks which are being handed out do seem to be a big dig into Corey’s rice bowl. Having made a stand on camera saying Lewandowski would be staying on, Trump is probably loathe to get rid of him now, but it wouldn’t be a complete shock if he is considering lessening his role. Even if he thinks Lewandowski was totally in the right in the Fields incident, having your CM showing up to be booked on a minor assault charge with a court date pending is the kind of headline no candidate wants, so I’m guessing Mr. Trump isn’t terribly pleased in private.

How far will that loyalty go? As a recent profile in CNN revealed, Lewandowski wasn’t a veteran of the game at this level and Trump only met him less than two years ago.

Donald Trump has often described his philosophy in business as to surround himself with the best of the best. But when it came to hiring a campaign manager, the Republican presidential front-runner’s pick was a small-time political player from New Hampshire.

Corey Lewandowski met Donald Trump backstage at a political event in 2014. The two self-described “high energy” men hit it off, and now this 42-year-old ex-lobbyist is running one of the most politically game-changing campaigns in decades.

Trump is known to be fiercely loyal to his old friends and allies, but Corey is comparatively new on the scene. I’m not going to make any predictions here (which has turned out to be a completely futile effort for anything to do with Trump World) but there’s enough smoke in this story to look for at least a small fire. I won’t be shocked if Lewandowski spends more time on the bench in the coming months than he does in front of the camera.