So Corey Lewandowski is fired by the Trump camp in June, goes to work for CNN as a paid contributor, while still receiving funds from the Trump campaign.
It would seem that there are ethical issues across the board, but ethics are an outdated notion, apparently.
Now, a few weeks and a lucrative cable network contract later, Lewandowski is back in the fold, according to multiple campaign sources. They describe Lewandowski’s relationship with the candidate as “stronger than ever.”
Each day, Trump wakes up, usually in his Fifth Avenue penthouse, and has a routine round of calls, sources say, that includes his campaign leadership (which has changed in recent weeks), his children, some close allies and someone else quite frequently: Lewandowski.
“They talk almost every day,” one senior level campaign staffer said, requesting anonymity.
The billionaire’s children fired Lewandowski, an effort chiefly led by Donald Trump Jr., along with his sister Ivanka and her husband, real estate mogul Jared Kushner, according to sources.
Yes, that’s when they brought in the alleged Russian mob fixer, Paul Manafort, who was then fired so that Breitbart boss, nasty guy, and self-professed “Leninist,” Stephen Bannon could take over.
Lewandowski, whose sole role as a contributor to CNN seemed to be to act as Trump’s propaganda chief with the network, has no Secret Service clearance to enter Trump Tower, but everything else seems to be restored.
But his clearance is apparently restored for any Trump rally he attends. “It’s a direct order: If Corey is at a rally, you give him an ’S’ pin,” one staffer said, referring to the pins distributed by the Secret Service recognizing a person who is cleared to enter restricted areas.
Lewandowski, 42, declined to comment for this article because of his contractual obligations to his new employer, CNN. In an email, the network said he has an exclusive contract with CNN and would not be available to comment. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Lewandowski was with Trump in New Hampshire on Thursday, and seemed to be calling the shots, with full clearance.
One senior level campaign official said: “He’s more involved that anyone realizes.”
Another senior level aide said, “The days that Corey’s influence were widely seen were the days that Trump wanted to go back to the old days. How he ran it in the primaries,” the person said, adding that Lewandowski “keeps telling him [Trump] to do what he wants and for that they’ll go down together.”
Lewandowski’s involvement with CNN and now his apparent reconnection with the Trump team is troublesome. Should media commentators be on the payroll of candidates? Are there blurred lines between media, that is supposed to keep the candidates honest, but of late, only serves to facilitate the bad behavior of their chosen candidate (see: Sean Hannity).
For his part, Lewandowski earned $20,000 from the Trump campaign in early-July via Lewandowski’s consulting firm Green Monster Consulting LLC, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
The Trump campaign has described the monthly payments as severance to close out its contract with Lewandowski. Yet in his role now as an on-air analyst for CNN, he has said he is a Trump supporter, but impartial.
This is just par for the course for Trump and his campaign. He was lacking a Yes-man and Lewandowski is filling that slot.