Corey Lewandowski

Corey Lewandowski


  • B.A. Political Science, University of Massachusetts. [1]
  • M.A Political Science, American University, Washington, D.C. [1]


Corey Lewandowski is a former campaign manager for Donald Trump’s presidential bid, before being fired in June 2016, reportedly amid infighting with Trump’s family. He is currently a senior advisor to Vice President Mike Pence’s Great America Committee, as of May 2018, moving from the pro-Trump “dark money” non-profit, America First Policies, which received funding from the gas and electric utility, Southern Company, and Dow Chemical. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Lewandowski is also acting as an unofficial advisor to Ruth Papazian, a Republican candidate planning to challenge New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New Yorker revealed in April 2019. [6]

Before joining Trump’s campaign, Lewandowski was national director of voter registration at Americans for Prosperity, a “free market” thinktank co-founded by David Koch which has promoted climate science denial and lobbied against climate policy in the US. Lewandowski also founded and directed the East Coast and New Hampshire chapters of the organization. [1]

In 2011, Lewandowski worked with the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council in New Hampshire to repeal a cap-and-trade bill to reduce emissions that formed part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), launched in 2008. He told the Wall Street Journal the legislation “does nothing to reduce greenhouse gases because jobs and businesses just move to other states.” Lewandowski also co-wrote an op-ed, published by Fox News, with Phil Kerpen, national vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity, in which they claimed proceeds from the tax had been “almost completely diverted to special interest giveaways for politically-connected corporations”. They described the RGGI as a “big loser for everyone except the politicians who get to spend the money and the special interests receiving subsidies”. [7], [8], [9]

Two years before, while employed as a federal lobbyist for Schwartz Communications, a Massachusetts-based PR firm, Lewandowski represented Borrego Solar, a California-based solar company, pushing for solar-friendly government policies, such as landing a “lucrative earmark for the type of solar power project he publicly has criticized as government waste”, Newsweek reported. [10]

Lewandowski has also directed a number of political consultancies, including Lewandowski Strategic Advisors and Avenue Strategies, whose clients have included Venezuelan state-owned oil company Citgo and tobacco giant Altria (formerly Philip Morris). CNBC reported that Citgo was one of the top donors to Trump’s inaugural committee and was excluded from sanctions against Venezuela in August 2017. Avenue Strategies was hired by the company to press the administration on the “potential impact of U.S. energy and foreign policy restrictions on CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s operations and valuation of assets,” according to paperwork the firm filed with Congress. [11], [12], [13], [14]

Lewandowski continued to receive payments from the Trump campaign for “strategy consulting” after being fired, paid to another of Lewandowski’s consultancies, Green Monster Consulting. [15]

Prior to joining Americans for Prosperity, Lewandowski was executive director of the New England Seafood Producers’ Association, a trade association representing the seafood industry. [1]

Lewandowski also worked as the legislative political director, Northeast Region, for the Republican National Committee (RNC) for a short time before leaving to run an unsuccessful 2002 reelection campaign for New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith. At the time, Smith caused controversy by claiming that his Republican opponent, an Arab-American, of being anti-Israel. [1], [16]

Prior to this, Lewandowski worked as an administrative assistant to Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney who was later jailed on corruption charges. [10]

Lewandowski co-wrote the 2017 book “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency” and 2018 book “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency” with David Bossie, president of the conservative advocacy group Citizens United and former deputy manager of Trump’s presidential campaign. In May 2019, Bossie was accused of using his group the Presidential Coalition to “scam elderly Republican voters for his own financial gain”, largely funneling donations to external consultants and on books authored with Lewandowski, Politico reported. Bossie appeared to receive condemnation from the Trump campaign for “deceptively” using the “President’s name, likeness, trademarks, or branding”. [17], [18]

Lewandowski has also been employed as a political commentator by news networks, including CNN and Fox News. Lewandowski has previously been a Fox News “Power Player of the Week”. [19], [20], [1]

In December 2017, Lewandowski was accused of sexual assault by Trump supporter and potential congressional candidate Joy Villa during a gathering at the Trump International Hotel the previous month. In March 2016 he was arrested and charged with simple battery for an altercation involving Michelle Fields, a female Breitbart reporter, after a news conference in Florida. The charges were later dropped. [21]

Stance on Climate Change

June 1, 2017

In an opinion article for The Hill entitled “Obama’s Paris climate deal was bad for US workers and American jobs,” Lewandowski wrote: [22]

“This agreement was a scam that ultimately hurt U.S. economy and worker productivity. Thankfully, President Trump saw through the rhetoric of the climate change alarmists and withdrew America from the Paris agreement, just as he said he would. Keeping his campaign promises will Make America Great Again!” [22]

The article features a video of Bjorn Lomborg attacking the Paris Agreement, produced by the right-wing, climate science denying organization PragerU, as well as citing reports by the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute[22]

November 18, 2016

In a Q&A session at the Oxford Union, Lewandowski responded to a question on his views regarding climate science by saying: [23]

“Our campaign did not spend a lot of time focusing on the issue of climate. It was not an issue that was, candidly, at the forefront of the American electorate this cycle, for right or wrong or indifferent. It just wasn’t. And let me be clear, I don’t speak for Donald Trump, I speak for Corey Lewandowski. But having been in the private sector and having the opportunity to have worked with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration… and having the opportunity to speak to some of the government experts out of Boulder Colorado, which is where this is actually housed inside the federal government, I can only tell you that the experts that I have talked to inside the federal government, not in academia, have not provided me compelling evidence that this is happening.

“You can tell me that Al Gore has the movie out that shows the polar ice cap is melting and polar bears aren’t going to survive up there any more and maybe that’s the case and Al Gore won a Nobel Prize or sold Al Jazeera, did something, made a lot of money and grow a beard. I don’t know what he did but it doesn’t matter to me. I think there are a lot of issues with our country and with our world and if climate change is the most important issue I think that’s important but I think what’s important to this administration is making sure that we don’t have a nuclear holocaust because some terrorists in a rogue place in the Middle East get a hold of nuclear materials or weapons-grade plutonium because we did a bad deal and decides [sic] to launch into the neighbours next door and have an unimaginable impact.

“And if that means that climate change occurs and we’ll deal with that, but I think nuclear war is much more significant.” [23]

The answer provoked laughter from the audience and Lewandowski was then asked another question on climate change, specifically whether he believed climate change was a conspiracy invented by the Chinese government, to which he responded: 

“If you want to share with me some compelling data that is not coming out of a left-wing, liberal institution or a liberal media professor, I’ll be happy to look at it… But let me say this, this is not the single biggest issue facing our country… If this was an issue then the American electorate would have been talking about it for the last 18 months and they have not uttered one word about it… Do I believe it’s a scam? Yes I do… I do not believe in global warming.” [23]

Key Quotes

July 9, 2019

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Lewandowski said British Prime Minister Theresa May should have recalled Ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, immediately, adding: [24]

“…you have an election in two weeks and what you will see is that your country is going to move in a different direction, I believe. That Boris Johnson is going to be the next Prime Minister.” [24]

August 15, 2018

At a Christian Science Monitor event, Lewandowski said: [25]

If I were a Democrat strategist… and somebody said to me ‘who do you want to be the Democrat nominee for president of the United States?’ there’s only one name I would choose… and his name is Michael Bloomberg.” [25]

He continued:

He can write a check for $250 million tomorrow and it’s a rounding error in his bank account… but he’s also an American success story because he didn’t inherit. He built it on his own.” [25]

Key Deeds

June 19, 2018

Lewandowski caused controversy when he responded to news that a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother at the US-Mexico border with the words “womp, womp”. [26]

May 14 2018

Lewandowski was appointed a senior advisor to Vice President Mike Pence’s Great America political action committee. [2]

May 12, 2017

Lewandowski founded Lewandowski Strategic Advisors, a political consultancy. [27]

December 2016

Lewandowski co-founded Avenue Strategies, a political consultancy, with fellow former Trump advisor Barry Bennett. [12]

March 3, 2016

Lewandowski violated Fox News rules by consulting with Donald Trump during the break in a Republican debate in Detroit, Michigan, refusing to leave the stage when asked to by Fox News staff. [28]

February 25, 2015

The Washington Post reported that Lewandowski had been asked by Trump to serve as his “senior political adviser and manager for the campaign-in-waiting”. [29]


Social Media



  1. Corey Lewandowski,” SALT. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  2. Jessica Estepa. “Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, joins Vice President Pence’s PAC,” USA Today, May 14, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  3. Howard Kurtz. “Corey Lewandowski joining Pence team, will focus on midterms and then 2020,” Fox News, May 14, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  4. Christina Wilkie. “Dark money group America First Policies is running a pro-Trump polling operation. Here is an inside look at its secretive work,” CNBC, March 1, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  5. Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie, Nathan McDermott. “Three companies say they will no longer donate to pro-Trump advocacy group,” CNN, June 4, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  6. David Freedlander. “Corey Lewandowski Is Advising a Candidate Planning to Challenge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” New Yorker, April 12, 2019. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  7. David Anderson. “Koch-funded group mounts cut-and-paste attack on regional climate initiatives,” Grist, March 16, 2011. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  8. Stephen Moore. “How to Live Freer in New Hampshire,” Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2011. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  9. Phil Kerpen. “One Giant Leap Forward – New Hampshire Smacks Down Cap-and-Trade,” Fox News, February 28, 2011. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  10. Russ Choma. “DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER‘S DIAMETRIC DOUBLE LIFE AS A SOLAR POWER LOBBYIST,” Newsweek, March 30, 2016. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  11. Nicholas Confessore, Kenneth P. Vogel. “Trump Loyalist Mixes Businesses and Access at ‘Advisory’ Firm,” New York Times, August 1, 2017. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  12. Shane Goldmacher, Isaac Arnsdorf, Josh Dawsey, Kenneth P. Vogel. “Trump’s ex-campaign manager starts lobbying firm,” Politico, December 12, 2016. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  13. Brian Schwartz. “A lobbying firm founded by former Trump aides has roped in some huge clients like Citgo and Altria, but it has some limits, too,” CNBC, May 14, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  14. Timothy Cama, Megan R. Wilson. “Trump exempts Citgo from Venezuela sanctions,” The Hill, August 25, 2017. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  15. J.J. Gallagher, John Santucci, Ryan Struyk. “Trump Still Paying Fmr. Campaign Manager Lewandowski as Consultant,” ABC News, September 21, 2016. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  16. Ben Schrekinger, Cate Martel. “The man behind Trump’s run,” Politico, July 22, 2017. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  17. Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie. “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency,” Center Street, December 2017. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  18. Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie. “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency,” Center Street, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  19. Ben Jacobs. “Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign manager is no stranger to controversy,” Guardian, August 20, 2015. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  20. Corey R. Lewandowski,” Fox NewsArchived July 12, 2019. URL
  21. Ex-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski accused of sexual assault,” Guardian, December 27, 2017. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  22. Corey Lewandowski. “Obama’s Paris climate deal was bad for US workers and American jobs,” The Hill, June 1, 2017. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  23. Corey Lewandowski | Full Q&A | Oxford Union,” YouTube video uploaded by user OxfordUnion on November 18, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  24. Krishnan Guru-Murthy. “Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski: ‘May should have recalled Darroch immediately’,” Channel 4 News, July 9, 2019. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  25. Marisa Schultz. “Lewandowski: Bloomberg would give Trump a run for his money in 2020,” New York Post, August 15, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  26. Erik Wemple. “Corey ‘Womp-Womp’ Lewandowski invited back on Fox News for more nonsense,” Washington Post, June 20, 2018. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  27. Lewandowski Strategic Advisors LLC,” BloombergArchived July 12, 2019. URL
  28. Dylan Byers. “How Donald Trump broke Fox News’ debate rules,” CNN, March 5, 2016. Archived July 12, 2019. URL
  29. Robert Costa. “Trump says he is serious about 2016 bid, is hiring staff and delaying TV gig,” Washington Post, February 25, 2015. Archived July 12, 2019. URL

Other Resources

Image credit: YouTube screenshot

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