Corey Lewandowski booted from the Trump Train

Politics used to be so predictable for the most part that it almost became boring. Not so in the Trump era. I would have bet dollars to donuts that Donald Trump would reward loyalty with loyalty when it came to his most trusted and reliable lieutenants on the political battlefield, despite any bad press they might generate or some failure to follow the established rules of the campaign road. But the other shoe dropped this morning when the Trump campaign announced that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski would be moving on to other opportunities. (Washington Post)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has parted ways with his embattled campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, amid ongoing scrutiny over several missteps as the real estate mogul has sought to pivot to the general election.

“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican Primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” Hope Hicks said in a statement to the New York Times. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”

It will likely only be in the aftermath when all of the tell-all books are published that we’ll find out what went on behind the scenes here. Throughout all the Michelle Fields noise, the awkward comments and what would be considered rookie mistakes by most seasoned campaign workers, Trump has stood by Lewandowski. For his part, Corey stood up and took any and all shots coming his way and defended his boss. So the real question here is whether Lewandowski was actually fired against his will or decided to bail out in the face of a tougher campaign slog where he might be causing headwinds. I suppose either one is possible. Insiders are already speaking of rumors that members of Trump’s family were very down on Corey and wanted him gone, so perhaps that factored into it. But the campaign is definitely speaking graciously of him in the announcement, so this doesn’t sound like a scenario where they dressed him down and booted him. If that were the case he might begin speaking out of school by the end of the day.

This development comes at a rather curious time and it lines up with what turned out to be a very wrong prediction by GQ Magazine. The reason I say this is that the announcement of Lewandowski’s exit was delivered by Hope Hicks, the woman GQ describes as being Trump’s “accidental press secretary.” In their analysis, they describe the heated, uncomfortable relationship between Hicks and the now-former campaign manager, leading to their wondering when Hope Hicks would be leaving the Trump Train.

But as things charge ahead for the Trump campaign, and also erupt (including a widely reported screaming match outside headquarters between Hicks and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski) colleagues wonder when Hicks will make the decision to get out, or if it’s already too late. “She made a choice to work for the most fascist candidate in recent American history,” explains one political spokesperson. “Everyone who knows her tells her to stop doing this and putting her name on stuff…she is going to regret everything she’s said and done. And I don’t think she knows it yet.”

But to hear it from Trump, Hicks has a bright future in his administration. “Oh, yeah sure,” he confirms when asked if he would have a place for her. “In either capacity, either there, or she’ll stay here, but, uh, I think she wants to go there.”

Sounds like Hope Hicks had the last laugh on that one, no matter how the candidate felt about it. Lewandowski is out and she’s eyeing a plumb job in the administration if they can pull out a win in November. If I had to make a prediction at this point it would be to say that Trump is going to make sure that Corey is well taken care of and we won’t be seeing any tell-all interviews this summer where he starts bashing the boss.