CNN has hired Donald Trump’s former campaign manager as its latest political commentator, a spokeswoman for the network said Thursday.
Trump fired Corey Lewandowski on Monday following weeks of sliding poll numbers and numerous assault allegations. But according to Politico, Lewandowski is said to have locked down a salaried position at CNN that very same day.
In his first in-studio interview after getting sacked from the campaign at the start of this week, Lewandowski told CNN’s Dana Bash that he had “no regrets” about ending his tenure as head of Trump’s skeleton campaign.
“I know I’ve had a great privilege and honor of being part of this for the last 18 or 19 months and I have no regrets,” he said.
He also went on to add that he would still be doing “everything” within his power to ensure that Donald Trump is elected president in November’s general election.
“If I can do that from inside the campaign, that’s a privilege,” he said. “If I can do that from outside the campaign, that’s also a privilege.”
Lewandowski also made a point of dodging quite a few tough questions relating to his former boss and allegations of Islamophobia.
Yet, Lewandowski was then reported to have gone straight from his interview with Bash to the office of CNN executive Barbara Levin, who is the network’s vice president of communications. The result of that long meeting is said to have been a salaried position at CNN for Lewandowski effective immediately.
As part of the deal, Lewandowski will also now be exclusive to CNN.
Lewandowski’s appointment will certainly prove a change of pace at CNN, which is often the target of Donald Trump’s insults. That being said, Lewandowski has also had a few run-ins of his own with network reporters.
In November, the former campaign manager cursed at CNN’s Noah Gray. A few months later, Lewandowski was also alleged to have gotten physical with Gray at a press conference.
But that’s hardly the most controversial accusation of assault that’s been flung at Lewandowski during his tenure at Trump’s right-hand man.
In March, Lewandowski was reported to have forcefully grabbed former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields at a press conference in Florida. Lewandowski was subsequently charged with one count of simple battery by the Juniper Police Department, and although prosecutors determined there was probable cause to make an arrest, the charges were ultimately dropped.
Immediately after that incident, several conservative commentators from various networks wrote a letter to Trump urging him to fire Lewandowski from the campaign. That letter was also signed by two leading figures at CNN.
Trump opted to ignore the calls and stood by Lewandowski and his declarations of innocence. Just over a week later, Lewandowski was filmed grabbing a protester by the collar at an event in Tucson.
That being said, analysts have argued it’s not allegations of violence that got Lewandowski dropped from the Trump campaign.
According to pollsters, Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump has expanded dramatically over the past month. A survey conducted last week by Reuters place the presumed Democratic Party nominee a whopping 10 points ahead of Trump. Meanwhile, pollsters at Bloomberg are now projecting Clinton to come out on top by 12 points.
That represents a pretty spectacular climb for Clinton, given the fact that the two presumptive party nominees were polling virtually neck-and-neck at the end of May.
In addition to sinking poll results, campaign insiders also reported that Trump had ultimately decided to turn on Lewandowski because of sour relations with fellow adviser Paul Manafort.
On Wednesday, Trump reportedly promoted Manafort to take on Lewandowski’s former role as campaign manager.
Meanwhile, CNN has confirmed that Lewandowski will be set to make his first scheduled appearance as a CNN pundit on Monday’s New Day.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]