Trump campaign reverses course, ends questionable payments to CNN commentator Lewandowski

Just last week the Trump camp said they’d continue through December.

Corey Lewandowski CREDIT: CNN’s New Day
Corey Lewandowski CREDIT: CNN’s New Day

Last week, when Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign finance report for August became public, many were surprised to discover that CNN commentator and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had been paid $20,000 by the campaign. Given that Trump has often boasted that he does not pay people who do not complete the job to his satisfaction and has suggested that that is “what the country should be doing,” it seemed odd that his campaign would be paying someone not to work.

With this payment coming months after CNN hired Lewandowski to comment on the presidential election — despite the fact that he was contractually prohibited from criticizing the campaign and reportedly continued to informally advise Trump — many questioned the ethics of the peculiar arrangement.

But the Trump campaign quickly explained the situation. Trump press secretary Hope Hicks put out a statement claiming that “Corey Lewandowski, who is no longer involved in the campaign, continues to receive monthly severance payments. The campaign will continue to honor its contract with Mr. Lewandowski, which stipulates he will be paid through the end of the year. These payments are in no way compensation for services rendered.”

On Thursday, this was revealed to be another false statement from the Trump campaign. On CNN’s New Day, Alisyn Camerota introduced Lewandowski and noted that “in previous appearances, we have told you that Corey was still receiving severance from the Trump campaign, but that is no longer the case, we are told.”

Lewandowski confirmed this, smilingly saying, “Amazing. Everything comes to an end.”


According to Politico, a CNN source explained this development: “Corey came to CNN and let us know that he and the campaign came to an agreement that his severance payment would be paid out to avoid future distractions. Corey and the campaign came to a private decision, he made us aware and we reported it.”


This comes a day after Hicks assurances that disgraced former Fox News CEO had no role in Trump’s debate preparation were revealed to be an apparent lie. And it comes three days after Trump’s lie-riddled first debate performance.