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Photograph: Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under CC BY-SA

One of the architects of Donald Trump's presidential campaign was fired on Monday in the face of sagging poll numbers and increased pressure from within the Republican Party.

Trump's campaign issued a statement carried by multiple US media saying controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski "will no longer be working with the campaign" and thanked him for his hard work.

Lewandowski's departure is the Trump campaign's most significant shake-up and was seen as an acknowledgment by Trump that his campaign needed an overhaul four weeks before the Republican convention in Cleveland and four months before the general election.

The announcement that Lewandowski had been fired came after a meeting of the Trump team's inner circle, including the billionaire's children, to discuss strategy in the face of not only falling poll numbers but also bad press in recent weeks.

A series of recent surveys showed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton polling ahead of Trump by as many as 10 points.

Lewandowski was known for promoting the idea of letting Trump be Trump. But since the billionaire became the presumptive nominee last month he has suffered major setbacks and faced intense criticism from party leaders, who have voiced concern about Trump's campaign tactics and lack of discipline.

Lewandowski downplayed reports that Trump's children had forced him out. He told CNN he was "honoured" to have worked for the campaign and "grateful" to have worked with the New York businessman. He said he would continue to support his presidential bid.

Lewandowski said he didn't "know the answer" to why he was fired, but added that "things change as a campaign evolves."

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