Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski made a seemingly random demand that the president should fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But the demand wasn't as out of left field as it originally seemed.
On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski issued a seemingly random demand in the middle of a discussion about staff shake-ups in the White House.
Host Chuck Todd asked Lewandowski for his thoughts on "what went wrong" in the relationship between ousted chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump. Lewandowksi talked about a "new direction" in the White House, particularly following the embarrassing defeat of the GOP's health care repeal bill.
But then the conversation took a bizarre left turn, one that left even Todd openly befuddled.
Out of nowhere, Lewandowksi vehemently called for the firing of Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a favored punching bag for the right.
"He's a person who is now all but running for governor in the state of Ohio, and he's sitting in federal office right now," Lewandowski complained.
Todd didn't try to hide his confusion. "That was sort of a random thing you just introduced there," he noted. When Lewandowski continued to stubbornly insist that Cordray be fired, Todd asked, "Do you have any business interest here? Do you have a client that wants to see this happen?"
"No, no. I have no clients whatsoever," Lewandowski declared.
That, it turns out, is a lie.
LEWANDOWSKI: I think the general should relook at firing Richard Cordray, at the CFPB. He's a person who is now all but running for governor in the state of Ohio, and he's sitting in federal office right now. And I think this general, as the chief of staff, is going to come in and put a fresh set of eyes on the inner workings of the White House and making sure the president's agenda moves.
TODD: I have to say, Corey, that was sort of a random thing you just introduced there. What's with the focus on Mr. Cordray? How is that at the top of the agenda there?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I think there's three things on the agenda: It's tax reform, it's building a wall on the southern border, it's repeal and replace of Obamacare, which didn't get done. But I think Richard Cordray is somebody who is campaigning now for governor of Ohio. He's sitting in an office right now at the CFPB, and it's my recommendation to the president of the United States to fire Richard Cordray. And if he wants to go run for governor of Ohio, go do it. But my concern is that you've got an unelected bureaucrat sitting in an office right now, and I hope that the new chief of staff looks at him moving forward and saying it's time to act decisively.
TODD: I have to ask this, considering that you brought this up. Do you have any business interest here? Do you have a client that wants to see this happen?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, no. I have no clients whatsoever.
Perhaps Lewandowski doth protest too much.
Media Matters reports that later on the same show, Politico reporter Eliana Johnson called out Lewandowski's totally false claim. Lewandowski "is appearing at a fundraiser August 3 for a Republican Ohio gubernatorial candidate," Rep. Jim Renacci, Johnson noted.
As BuzzFeed recently reported, the cushy relationship is a two-way street, as Renacci helped arrange a speaking gig for Lewandowski in Cleveland on the same day as the August fundraiser.
In response to Johnson's call-out, Todd declared, "Now we know the motivation there!"
Lewandowski flat-out lied to Todd and to the public when he insisted that he had no business interests in the race or Cordray's potential participation therein.
Indeed, and it comes as no surprise whatsoever to learn that not only is a Trump crony trying to damage the reputation and livelihood of a Democratic federal official in order to boost a fellow Republican's political chances, but that he would tell such glib and easily discoverable lies about it on national television.
After all, on the subject of laughably blatant lies, Lewandowski learned from the master.