Barry Bennett speaks during an interview for Reuters at the Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's headquarters in Alexandria, Va., Oct. 20, 2015. 
Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Former top Carson aide collaborating with Trump

Ben Carson’s former campaign manager who left campaign earlier this month, Barry Bennett, said he is helping the Trump campaign, NBC News has learned.

Bennett, who left the campaign amid internal strife, says he’s not being paid nor is he an “informal adviser,” but that he is “just being friendly.”

Speculation about Bennett’s new role increased after he said Thursday that Carson should drop out now and endorse Trump. The development was first reported by The Washington Post.

“I love Dr. Carson,” Bennett said, noting that Bennett’s entrance into Trump world is not meant to be a hit on his old boss. Bennett, however, believes that Trump will be the Republican nominee.

“Whoever the nominee is, I want to help them, and I think it’s going to be Trump, Bennett told NBC News. “If he wins Iowa in 11 days, I mean, he’ll sweep the whole thing.”

Bennett refused to say if he met directly with Trump but confirmed that he speaks to Trump’s top aide Cory Lewandowski.

“They’re not asking me for help with their strategy on how to win the primary, they’ve got that,” Bennett said. “I’m talking about the mechanics - party mechanics and how they should go forward.”

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

Ben Carson and Donald Trump

Former top Carson aide collaborating with Trump