In case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t hear the news, Donald Trump’s chief alienist, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, was fired yesterday morning.
I’m no Trump fan, and even less of a Lewandowski fan. But as Trump is trying to broaden his appeal in the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland OH, one can assert that Lewandowski was at least honest about Trump’s knuckle-dragging.
Trump had faced increasing concerns from allies and donors, as well as his children, about the next phase of the campaign. It is a move that could reassure donors and Republicans more broadly that Trump can adjust toward a November election strategy. According to the New York Times, two people briefed on the move, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Lewandowski was fired.
He was seen as having a hostile relationship with many members of the national press corps who cover Trump, as well as many officials at the Republican National Committee. Lewandowski was often also at odds with Trump’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, who was brought on in March and is rumored to be Trump’s next campaign manager. Lewandowski was also said to have resisted certain moves that would have increased the number of staff members, at times blocking Manafort from making hires or later undoing them.
But the people briefed on Lewandowski’s departure said that the circumstances went well beyond any particular episode or any particular relationship. Lewandowski had a penchant for making headlines about himself that overshadowed his boss, including being charged with misdemeanor battery (a charge later dropped), after he was accused of grabbing a reporter as she approached Trump with a question in Jupiter FL on March 8.
No one inside the campaign was given any advance warning about Lewandowski’s dismissal, who was on the campaign’s daily 8:30 am conference call on Monday. I personally hope this is a harbinger of the unraveling of Trump’s campaign, but you cannot underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate. It is entirely possible that it won’t matter.
On Twitter, some campaign staff members rejoiced at the news of Lewandowski’s departure. “Ding dong the witch is dead!” wrote Michael Caputo, a Trump communications aide who was said to have been antagonized by Lewandowski.
But it remains to be seen how this latest event will work out.
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