Corey Lewandowski, Ex-Campaign Manager for Donald Trump, Joins CNN

Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager for Donald J. Trump, is joining CNN as a political commentator, effective immediately, a spokeswoman for the network said Thursday.

Mr. Lewandowski was fired by the Trump campaign on Monday after increasing concerns from allies and donors, as well as Mr. Trump’s children, over whether he could handle a national campaign against Hillary Clinton’s well-financed operation.

Mr. Lewandowski’s contract will make him exclusive to CNN, meaning he won’t be able to appear on other networks. CNN currently has another Trump surrogate, Jeffrey Lord, as a frequent guest.

The Lewandowski hiring was first reported by Politico.

Cable news networks have long turned to former campaign operatives to provide commentary. But Mr. Lewandowski’s hiring is fraught: He was charged with battery for grabbing a reporter at a Trump campaign event in March; he is known for sometimes combative interactions with the news media; and his rise and fall at the Trump campaign made him a singularly polarizing figure.

Prosecutors later dropped the battery charge against Mr. Lewandowski, ending the case. But security video taken at a Trump-owned property in Jupiter, Fla., clearly showed him grabbing Michelle Fields, then a reporter for Breitbart News, despite his claims that she was “delusional” for suggesting that he had laid a hand on her.

After that incident, several conservative commentators from various networks, including CNN’s S.E. Cupp and Mary Katharine Ham, wrote a letter to Mr. Trump urging the campaign to fire Mr. Lewandowski.

Within hours of being fired by the Trump campaign on Monday, Mr. Lewandowski gave his first extended sit down interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, speaking live for nearly a half-hour about his firing and his experience with the campaign during the nominating contest. (He had given an on-camera interview to MSNBC’s Ali Vitali outside his apartment before making his way to CNN).

In his interview with Ms. Bash, Mr. Lewandowski repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to Mr. Trump, saying he would do “everything I can to make sure” Mr. Trump was elected president.

“If I can do that from inside the campaign, that’s a privilege,” he said. “If I can do that from outside the campaign, that’s also a privilege.”

Mr. Lewandowski did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Viewers hoping for inside dish on the Trump campaign from its former manager are likely to be left disappointed; Mr. Trump requires employees to sign nondisclosure agreements that are binding during the campaign “and at all times thereafter,” according to The Associated Press.

Mr. Lewandowski’s first appearance, as of now, is scheduled for Monday on “New Day.”

Source : www.nytimes.com

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