Fired Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski defended his reputation with the media Monday morning on CNN, insisting he has a “great relationship” with the press.
On one of his first appearances as a CNN political contributor, “New Day” co-host Alisyn Camerota confronted Lewandowski about his accord with media, noting many journalists were not a “fan of the decision” to hire him as an analyst.
She was likely referring to a New York Post report of a “near internal revolt” at CNN over Lewandowski’s hiring. Sources told the Post that employees were “organizing and considering publicly demanding” that he be fired.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June27, 2016
Camerota said Lewandowski doesn’t seem to have much respect for the press.
“I don’t think that’s true. I think what you have is if you look at the individuals I worked closely with on a day-to-day basis, we had great relationships. I have great relationships with the media. Those individuals who are embeds, who got to know me the best, the individuals who I spoke to on a regular basis
Camerota asked about reporters being kept in “press pens” at events – a controversial tactic Lewandowski fiercely enforced as Trump’s campaign manager.
“Look, there are rules to follow,” Lewandowski said. “And the rules are very clear. The designated media areas where the designated media area was. And we ask people to respect those rules so that the individuals who are coming to those Trump rallies by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, would have the opportunity to listen to what Mr. Trump said when he’s onstage.”
Lewandowski said that after Trump is done speaking, the media was allowed to go “wherever they wanted.” He again emphasized his “great” relationship with the media.
“The bottom line is, I have a great relationship with the press. I have a lot of friends at all of the networks, and that’s the truth. And look, I’ve been so lucky to interact with the press as much as I have. It doesn’t mean I always agree. … And if I think something is out of line, I’m going to tell people that.”
Despite his assertions, Lewandowski has had an often contentious relationship with the press. It boiled over when he grabbed a Breitbart reporter at a Trump event and was charged with battery. The charges were later dropped.
Lewandowski was fired from the Trump campaign last Monday.