It seems the vicious niblet got the last laugh, after all.
Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager of Donald Trump, wished the recently ousted Paul Manafort well on Friday, but it’s not hard to imagine it being in the tone similar to when a Southern lady says, “Well, bless your heart.”
In other words, maybe it wasn’t said with the utmost sincerity.
Manafort, the alleged Russian mob fixer, came under scrutiny, recently, in regards to his connections to the Ukraine and pro-Russia figures there. Combined with Trump’s falling poll numbers, it was only a matter of time before Manafort was asked to leave.
When news broke of Manafort’s resignation, Lewandowski retweeted a tweet from journalist Sasha Issenberg, who wrote, “Lewandowski is winning so much even he may get tired of winning.” The message represented a play on one of Trump’s favorite phrases on the stump and a subtle nod at the internal discord between Lewandowski and Manafort on the campaign before Lewandowski’s firing in June.
“I thought it was, you know, pretty appropriate,” Lewandowski said in a telephone interview on CNN, where he is a political contributor.
CNN’s Kate Bolduan interjected, “How did you win on this one, Corey?”
“Well I didn’t win, but I thought it was funny. Because you know it is, is people think I won,” Lewandowski remarked.” I had nothing to do with this. This was about Donald Trump. He’s running for president. This is about what is best for Donald Trump, what is best for the American people, and what is best to lay out his case that Hillary Clinton is not prepared to be president of the United States. This is the step that the campaign has taken to continue to demonstrate how serious they are that it is moving forward and that it is ready for the next 81 days.”
I’m sure little Lewandowski did, indeed, find it funny. He probably also took it as a bit of vindication: Manafort muscled him out, only to find that even with all his years in dealing with shady Russian figures, even he wasn’t prepared to rein in the unhinged lunacy of Donald Trump.
“I think what you have clearly here is Mr. Trump has said this and he’s been very clear about it. He did not like the direction the campaign was going. If that was the indication of polling data in key battlegrounds states, he wasn’t pleased with that,” Lewandowski continued. “And so what you have now is someone with [new campaign CEO] Steve Bannon and [campaign manager] Kellyanne Conway, who’s bringing in a different perspective, an outsider’s perspective, who’s saying, you know what, let’s get back to what brought Donald Trump here, which is allowing him to be authentic, to allow him to go back and do the things he wants to do to be successful, that has gotten him to the point of where he is today, which is the Republican nomination. And now you’re going to grow that base and you’re going to grow and you’re going to bring more people in. I think, you know, it doesn’t matter, staff stories shouldn’t matter, but what you have is a realignment of Donald Trump and the direction of the campaign which, most importantly, is what the candidate wants.”
In other words, Trump is signaling his desire to go full nutjob on the campaign trail, by employing someone as nasty and unhinged as Bannon, along with a few new clingers.
Lewandowski went on to point out John Kerry’s late-in-the-game campaign shakeup in 2004, as an example that changes in campaign staff aren’t that unusual.
And Kerry lost.
In his final words, Kerry offered:
“I wish him the absolute very best and he is a true professional, and I know how thankful I was to be able to work next to him as he worked to secure the delegates needed and to execute a convention,” Lewandowski said.
Considering what was done to the conservative movement in Cleveland, “execute” is an interesting choice of words.