Onetime Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told ABC News writer Jonathan Karl in a call Karl recounts in his forthcoming book that Donald Trump knew Joe Biden won the 2020 election but lied about it so he wouldn’t appear like a loser.
Trump knew the campaign was over as soon as the major networks predicted his defeat, according to Lewandowski, who informed Karl in a phone conversation only days after the presidential election, according to Business Insider, which got an advance copy of Karl’s book, “Betrayal.” The book will be released on Tuesday.
The rhetoric about the big lie is a fantastic money maker as well.
According to Karl, Lewandowski said that Trump sought to create doubts about the results so that he could claim he “didn’t lose.”
“He knows it is over,” Lewandowski reportedly told Karl. “He just wants to create enough doubt about Biden’s victory so that when he leaves he can say he didn’t lose and that it was stolen from him.”
Lewandowski served as Trump’s campaign manager until June 2016, after which he became a Trump advisor.
After Lewandowski was accused of sexual harassment in September 2021, several Republicans distanced themselves from him. Last month, it was revealed that he had been discreetly barred from various Trump buildings and clubs, as well as MAGA events.
The Trump machine prepared months before the 2020 vote to challenge a loss.
Cleta Mitchell, for example — the attorney on the call when Trump told Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough votes to transform his loss into a win — began working with the powerful, corporate-funded right-wing organization American Legislative Exchange Council to challenge a Trump defeat long before the first vote was cast.
Mitchell was also the featured speaker at a FreedomWorks Election Protection Summit in early October, where members strategized how to challenge the validity of mail-in votes if Biden won.
According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll last month, 35% of voters — including 60% of Republicans — believe the 2020 election should “definitely” or “probably” be overturned.
Of course, Lewandowski has a reason to speak of Trump so negatively.
Following accusations that he sexually assaulted and harassed a donor last month, Lewandowski has been barred from Trump-owned facilities and MAGA events.
However, Lewandowski’s banishment may not be permanent, as former President Donald Trump is said to have left the door open for his longtime top assistant to re-enter his inner circle based on “good behavior.”
After being accused of following and frequently touching donor Trashelle Odom, Corey Lewandowski was fired as the chairman of Trump’s super PAC, Make America Great Again Action.
Since then, Trump “has made a point of telling close associates and Republican allies that they should avoid inviting Lewandowski to public events or ‘parties,’ particularly if alcohol is flowing or if the event is held at one of the ex-president’s prized private clubs.”
“Others close to Trump have already told subordinates, as well as fellow players in the party and in the conservative movement more broadly, to remove Lewandowski (at least for now) from invitations and emails for upcoming GOP and MAGA festivities, according to two sources familiar with the situation,” according to the site.
Given that he has long “delighted many of (Lewandowski’s) Republican enemies,” given that he has long “been despised inside Donald Trump’s inner sanctum.”
However, Lewandowski was not informed of his dismissal, and those close to Trump anticipated that it would be just temporary.
One of the sources stated, “The [former] president mentioned that with ‘good behavior,’ Corey could be OK. Like he was talking about somebody… on parole.”
According to three individuals familiar with the situation, Lewandowski first refused to go.
What followed were phases of denial and bargaining before being abandoned by the world he claimed to rule.
Lewandowski disputed the specifics of the purported event, first personally and then publicly via a lawyer. When it didn’t work, he simply refused to leave.
Lewandowski then decided on a not-so-modest proposition to Trumpworld: in return for his resignation, the super PAC and the pro-Trump crew would give him a substantial amount of money to leave. According to two informed individuals, the former Trump campaign manager’s demand was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But, despite the fact that Lewandowski’s super PAC, Make America Great Again Action, presently has $6.58 million in donations, mainly from Trump megadonors, he didn’t have the clout he appeared to believe he had. His other Trump aides flatly refused him.
“It doesn’t matter if he’d asked for five dollars, it wasn’t going to happen,” one person acquainted with the incident said flatly.
Former President Trump, Lewandowski’s ex-boss and friend, was one person who wanted him to go empty-handed. The twice-impeached ex-president didn’t want to see Lewandowski walk away with any of that money—money that Trump sees as his, despite the legal barrier that must exist between candidates and super PACs.
According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Trump was informed shortly after Lewandowski made his request and laughed at the notion of paying Lewandowski a significant amount of money to be removed.
Rather than confronting the famously aggressive operator, his MAGA Action comrades just abandoned him. Within days after Lewandowski’s dismissal, they’d launched a new super PAC with an eerily similar name: Make America Great Again, Again! On Monday, the new organization was dubbed “the ONLY Trump-approved super PAC,” but no mention of the errant former president was made.
Lewandowski’s fall from grace comes from accusations that he sexually assaulted a big contributor to his own super PAC at a charity event last week. Trashelle Odom, who is married to a top Idaho developer, said in a statement to Politico that Lewandowski made a series of unwelcome approaches throughout the evening, touching her buttocks and one of her legs, bragging about his genitalia, speaking lewdly to her, and flashing his room key. According to reports, the Odoms requested the super PAC to return their $100,000 if the organization did not cut connections with Lewandowski.
While Lewandowski’s demands fell short this time, he was acting on precedent. Following his humiliating departure during Trump’s first attempt, which was also triggered by allegations of assaulting a woman, Lewandowski received a hefty $20,000-per-month severance package, earning him almost $500,000 for his 14 months of service.