Donald Trump’s first campaign manager says he warned the president that Michael Cohen ‘was going to become a problem’ and that he personally tried to steer clear of him.
‘I didn’t like to work with Michael. I didn’t like to interact with Michael,’ Corey Lewandowski told ‘Fox News Sunday’ in an interview. ‘Michael was not somebody who we wanted at the campaign.’
He said the president’s ex-attorney ‘would say things which were factually untrue’ that the campaign would have to correct.
‘I warned everybody at the organization that Michael was going to become a problem,’ he asserted.
Donald Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, says he warned the president that Michael Cohen ‘was going to become a problem’ and tried to steer clear of him
Lewandowski suggested that Cohen acted as the Trump Organization’s enforcer, saying Sunday that one of his strengths was ‘intimidating people’ into cooperating on the real estate company’s behalf.
President Trump denied last week that he was close to Cohen, who plead guilty to eight felonies, including two crimes he says he committed at the direction of the president.
Trump said that Cohen was his so-called ‘fixer’ in an interview but he doesn’t know where that term came from and the attorney for his company was ‘not somebody that was with me that much.’
‘Didn’t do big deals, did small deals. You know, they make it sound like I didn’t live with, without him,’ Trump told ‘Fox & Friends’ in an interview that aired on Thursday. ‘It turned out he wasn’t a very good lawyer, frankly. But he was somebody that was probably with me for about 10 years and I would see him sometimes.’
Lewandowski indicated on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that Cohen played a larger role in Trump’s operations than the president let on, although he too claimed that the attorney was not a full-time lawyer for the corporation.
‘I didn’t work at the corporation, to be clear, but when there was a problem from the corporation side, you know, if there’s a problem with an airplane engine, Michael was tasked with the negotiation to make sure that that engine was fixed under the warranty procedures when companies didn’t want to do that. I know that was one specific project,’ he said.
Lewandowksi suggested that Cohen acted as the Trump Organization’s enforcer, saying Sunday that one of his strengths was ‘intimidating people’ into cooperating on the real estate company’s behalf
Trump’s campaign manager until June of 2016, Lewandowski says that while he was in charge, he made sure that Cohen ‘never’ had a role in the operation that drew in the president’s family, as well as staffers who were close to billionaire, real estate mogul, like ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
‘Look, I was the campaign manager. I spent as little time with Michael Cohen as humanly possible. He was never part of the campaign when I was there. And what he has now pled guilty to, by and large, has nothing to do with the campaign or the Trump Organization. This is Michael Cohen not filing taxes,’ Lewandowski asserted.
He told the Fox News program, ‘Michael was very good at certain things. And one of the things that he was very good at, and we’ve now seen it, is intimidating people and pushing himself to fix — he was the self-described fixer.’
‘But I can tell you this, I didn’t like to work with Michael. I didn’t like to interact with Michael. And that’s why he had no role in the campaign, even though he wanted one.’
Lewandowski said, ‘I was very clear, when I was in charge of the campaign, Michael was not somebody who we wanted at the campaign. He would go out and make statements that we had to walk back afterwards because he would say things which were factually untrue. And I warned everybody at the organization that Michael was going to become a problem.’
Cohen has become a major problem for the president, implicating him in two campaign finance violations and other, potential crimes involving the Trump Foundation and Trump Organization. He also claims to have information on Russian hacking, and Trump’s alleged knowledge of it, that he says would be of interest to the special counsel.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York’s office subsequently granted immunity to Alan Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, so he could talk freely about the claims that were made by Cohen.
Trump has denied all the allegations that Cohen has made against him either personally or through his attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Not only does he claim that he didn’t not have affairs with two women who came forward before the election, he says he did not know that his former attorney was going to pay them off.
The president’s lawyer said in response to Cohen’s claims that Trump ‘directed’ him to buy the women’s silence, ‘There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.
‘It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.’
Trump in a Twitter rant against his ex-attorney also slammed him and said, ‘If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!’