I won’t bother posting the full clip of the long interview he did with CNN this afternoon after getting canned since no one will sit through it. But I recommend watching the two shorter vids below, one of which comes from MSNBC, if you can spare the time. The guy’s composure and persistence in staying on message for Trump despite having just been humiliated in front of the political universe are amazing. There was never any chance that he’d badmouth Trump — his contract surely included a nondisparagement clause — but there’s a world of difference between refusing to criticize someone and the unflappable cheerleading you’re about to see. WaPo calls it, correctly, “Corey Lewandowski’s surreal ‘Everything Is Awesome’ interview.” You can read the transcript of the CNN segment at that last link but let me highlight a bit to demonstrate how closely Lewandowski is holding his cards to his vest. Remember, one report after another since Paul Manafort joined the campaign in April has claimed that he and Lewandowski struggled bitterly for power. Campaign staff are supposedly split between them with nasty backbiting on both sides. Fox News has a story out today alleging that Manafort himself let it be known through intermediaries recently that he’d quit if Lewandowski wasn’t fired within 48 hours. The Trump children supposedly backed Manafort on that, sealing Lewandowski’s fate.
Under the circumstances, you would think Lewandowski’s public thoughts about Manafort would be, at best, brief and tepid. Nope.
BASH: And you mentioned that somebody — people he didn’t see eye to eye with. Let’s talk about Paul Manafort. There has been a lot of discussion; I know it’s out in the media. But, you know, I think it would be hard for you to say that it’s not real, that there was a lot of real tension. What are you — what was the relationship with him?
LEWANDOWSKI: So I’ll say this about Paul. When Paul first came in, he was going to manage the delegate process. And then we were fortunate enough to secure enough delegates that we didn’t need a delegate manager. Since that time, Paul and I have gotten along amazingly well and I know the media doesn’t want to report that, but we work side by side, talking on a daily basis, multiple times a day. He had his roles which he was going to oversee on the campaign. I had a very separate function, which included making sure that Mr. Trump’s schedule goes accordingly. Fundraising side of things, right? We divided things accordingly and we had a great relationship. There was no animosity between Paul and I. I know the media doesn’t want to report it, but that’s the truth.
BASH: I mean, forgive me for being skeptical, but it’s hard to believe that — that it was as sort of as rsoy and happy as you’re describing when there’s so much discussion of dysfunction.
LEWANDOWSKI: (INAUDIBLE). The campaign has been so small, that bringing in a professional in like Paul helped us grow the campaign. And we need ten more of these. The campaign needs to continue to grow to be successful. So everything that Paul did for the campaign was one less thing I had to do. And I’m thankful for that. Believe me!
There’s no reason to do that song and dance unless Lewandowski’s working an angle. He could have said, “Paul and I had different views of how the campaign should proceed but that happens in politics. He’s a professional and I wish him well the rest of the way.” Future employers wouldn’t want to see him trash Trump and Manafort, as that would make them think twice about what Lewandowski might do after being let go from their own campaigns, but a perfunctory statement like the one I just gave would have been fine. Instead he’s blubbering about how “amazingly well” they got along. The guy obviously thinks/hopes that he’s going to be rehired by Trump, possibly before November and possibly after, and step one in that process is showering praise on everyone associated with the campaign. He also had nice things to say today about Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner even though they were supposedly instrumental in dumping Lewandowski. A lot of ass will need to be kissed before Trump’s orbit is comfortable enough with him to bring him back onboard and Lewandowski’s wasting no time. Compare and contrast that with the view of Lewandowski from Trumpworld, as relayed by Breitbart:
At the meeting, attended by both senior campaign staff and members of the family, Trump reviewed different campaign metrics that were all faltering: cooperation with party leaders, fundraising, surrogate operations and most importantly the polls.
The campaign manager seemed to have run out of ideas. When the New York City developer asked Lewandowski what he would do to turn things around, the only thing he could come up with was for Trump to announce his pick for vice-president.
Pitching that as the solution sealed his fate, the source said. “The VP pick was the one piece of suspense that would make people tune into the convention—Corey wanted to give that away now? There was no way.”
It’s odd that Lewandowski would be blamed for the “faltering” campaign since Manafort’s role has been at least as important as his over the last few months. Lewandowski himself said today that Manafort has been in “operational control” of the campaign since April 7th. Did Corey really get fired because Trump needed a scapegoat for poor “metrics,” or did he get fired because the Trump children “thought he was a little Napoleon a**hole” and have wanted him out for weeks? Ah well. From now on that little Napoleon a**hole is going to be their biggest fan. Publicly, at least.
I’ll leave you with this:
The decision to redact the Mateen transcripts plays perfectly to Trump’s strengths. Instead, he’s made Lewandowski the news of the day.
— Will Rahn (@willrahn) June 20, 2016