Appearing on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski seemed a little confused about how, exactly, he was trying to characterize Paul Manafort‘s participation in the 2016 election.
Everyone knows how much the conservative world fawned over Manafort when he joined the team. Donald Trump Junior was maybe the most doting of all of Paul’s fans, telling reporters on the floor of a convention that the family:
“[C]ouldn’t be more happy with the work that he’s doing, the way he’s tackling these things, the way he’s handling the organization of everything going forward. He’s done a phenomenal job. I wish we had him on earlier.”
In fact, Junior didn’t seem to think much of the previous campaign chair, saying “there’s a reason that Paul’s in the position that he is today, and Corey’s not.”
But despite being pushed out by Manafort, who gave the campaign an ultimatum to get rid of him, Lewandowski is to this day carrying water for the Trump campaign and attempting to help them distance themselves from the man who stole his job.
In order to do so, Lewandowski has to lie. While Team Trump thinks they can simply re-cast Manafort’s participation as minimal and cross their fingers that nobody notices, Lewandowski has to try and gloss over it while simultaneously playing up his importance, as it relates to whose fault it is they hired him in the first place.
Corey told the Fox hosts that Manafort “came on to the campaign in a very limited capacity, to help us find delegates,” which is hilarious — because Paul was the official campaign chairman — before doing a total about-face when it came to the fact that he thinks the FBI should have warned the campaign about Manafort if he was being investigated at the time.
Friends anchor Steve Doocy asked if that was “the kind of thing the feds do,” which caught Corey in the self-contradiction:
“I don’t know, but what I do know is if you are the Republican or Democratic nominee for a major political party running for president of the United States and there is a person who is joining the campaign in a high-profile capacity, and that person happens to be under some type of surveillance by the FBI for potential wrongdoings, you would think that, just from a security standpoint, they would come and brief the campaign.”
Sorry, Corey. That’s totally not how it works. You’re not just trying to have it both ways — that Manafort was both a nobody and a high-profile campaign participant — but you’re trying to shrug off the campaign’s responsibility to make sure they don’t hire criminals onto the FBI, who literally never tell anyone when they have someone under investigation.
Watch the exchange here:
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