“You could never provide an excuse for someone if they were not truthful with the president of vice president of the United States. At the end of the day, if he was not truthful and fully transparent with phone calls he may have made with Russian officials to the vice president of the United States, I think that would warrant him resigning from his position”
—– Lewandowski on General Flynn resigning
Former Campaign Manager to President Donald Trump, Corey Lewandowski, spoke with Kilmeade & Friends about the fallout from General Flynn’s resignation, allegations the Trump administration has been in contact with the Russian government and who might be responsible for leaking intel to the press. Plus, Lewandowski on Kellyanne Conway & Sean Spicer not being on the same page when commenting on General Flynn and if members of the Trump administration are afraid to give the President advice he may not agree with.
Lewandowski on the New York Times report that members of President Trump’s campaign and other aids have been in contact with senior Russia officials
(Lewandowski) I can tell you when I ran the campaign there was no interaction between myself and anybody from Russia or the Russian government or anybody I was aware of. If Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Rick Gates, Carter page or anybody else was contacting the Russian government, they were doing so of their own accord, they were not doing so at the direction of the campaign or candidate Trump at the time and if they have broken the law in any way shape or form, which I don’t think they have been alleged to have to have broken the law but if they have, they should be held accountable to the highest standard.
(Kilmeade) What bothers you most about this story?
(Lewandowski) What bothers me the most is you have individuals who have spent a very short amount of time on the presidential campaign. I think Paul Manafort’s tenure after I left lasted about 8 weeks and what you see now is they are casting a negative light on the President. Roger Stone had not been part of the presidential campaign for a year and a half. We terminated that relationship with him in June of 2015 so it’s been a long time since Roger has been in any way shape or form associated with the campaign. Carter Page was never paid by the campaign. Rick Gates was never paid by the campaign. What bothers me the most is if these individuals were trying to do things which they thought were in their own personal interests, they shouldn’t have been part of the campaign.
Lewandowski on Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon , Kellyanne Conway & Dave Bossie’s impacts on President Trump’s campaign
(Lewandowski) Paul acme in as the chairman of the campaign after I left. He lasted 8 weeks then I think its fair to say the campaign when Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and Dave Bossie came in and put a winning team together and I think that was essential. If Donald Trump was going to be successful, he had to make sure he hasd the right team around him and that’s why he asked Paul to leave the campaign.
Lewandowski on the miscommunication between Kellyanne Conway & Sean Spicer on President Trump’s confidence in General Flynn before his resignation
(Kilmeade) What do you think about the miscommunication between Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer? Kellyanne Conway says full confidence and less than an hour later Sean Spicer comes out and says the President is evaluating and 4 hours later he (Flynn) resigned. What were your thoughts on how this unfolded?
(Lewandowski) I think unfortunately what you have is a miscommunication with the internal procedures which are taking place in the White House. I don’t know whose fault that is but it doesn’t matter, those individuals are not serving the President well when you have 2 senior staff members giving different opinions on the same issue just hours apart from each other. I think it’s important, very, very important that all the staff is on the same page and if they are going to go out and speak on behalf of the President or answer questions on behalf of the President, they do so with a unified voice. What you did see on Sunday was Stephen Miller, the senior policy adviser went out and when he was asked specifically about questions about General Flynn, he said I am not at liberty to discuss those issues because he wasn’t fully briefed. I would recommend to the White House and any organization, before you have a public face or an external face of something going forward, make sure everybody is briefed on the messaging points are and that’s just a good way for communication in general.
Lewandowski on whether people close to President Trump are afraid to offer advice that will upset him
(Kilmeade) I was talking to someone on the inside yesterday and they said people around Donald Trump are almost afraid of him. They don’t tell him when they think he is wrong, they don’t offer advice they think will rankle him. Does he have too many yes men around him?
(Lewandowski) I think any administration has the potential to have people around them because they get enamored with the power and malaise of being inside the White House. Look I can tell you my relationship with President Trump when I was on the campaign trail was I always gave him my best opinion, I always gave him the best advice I could regardless of if he wanted to hear it or not and it’s his decision to accept or reject those opinions.
(Kilmeade) Do you think there is a chance my source is correct, there is nobody to say Mr. President, you are way off on this or you have to clamp down on this or 5 in the morning is probably not the best time to tweet out what is on your mind?
(Lewandowski) I think there are some people around him who can do that but unfortunately if you look at the team that was build, a number of people don’t have a long standing relationship with the President so they are still getting to know him and that’s not a disrespect to any of those people, many of them came on board the campaign, they weren’t there in the beginning, they didn’t have the opportunity to develop a longstanding relationship with him and so as this continues to move forward you will see additional strong relationships being built. Jared Kushner, his son in law can have very candid conversations with the President, there is no question about that. I know that Steve Bannon has those conversations. A number of those relationships pre date Mr. Trump’s run for office so those are the people I think have the ability to have those very candid conversations and the other staff is still getting to understand the President and his style.
Lewandowski on where he thinks the leaks on General Flynn came from
(Lewandowski) I think there are some career bureaucrats who are not happy with President Trump being elected, who don’t like the way he is conducting foreign policy because it’s a complete disruption to what they are used to and you saw that with Sally Yates who was the acting director of the Department of Justice where she refused to implement the president’s order and she was officially terminated. You saw that with 4 State Department officials who had a collective 160 years of government service. … you have a government bureaucracy that is steadfast in not making significant changes and anything they can do to demean or reject the President’s agenda they are going to do and that includes clearly in this case, leaking classified information.