Corey Lewandowski Leaving CNN, May Join Trump White House
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski resigned from his role as a CNN political analyst on Friday, ending what had been a controversial run as a paid commentator for the cable network. Lewandowski spend part of Friday morning at Trump Tower in Manhattan, where President-elect Trump has been conducting transition-team meetings, and that was but one of several apparent visits by Lewandowski to the campaign’s headquarters since Trump’s upset victory on Tuesday. According to the New York Times, Lewandowski is now interested in taking a job in the Trump Administration, and also may be in consideration to replace Reince Priebus as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
CNN’s journalistic ethics had been repeatedly called into question after hiring and continuing to employ Lewandowski, particularly after it was reported that he was still in regular contact with Trump throughout the campaign, and thus playing some kind of informal advisor role while still collecting a paycheck from CNN. In addition, Lewandowski continued to receive severance pay from the Trump campaign during his tenure with CNN, and his ability to criticize Trump — if and when he have ever wanted to do that — was hampered by a non-disclosure agreement he had signed with the campaign. Lewandowski was fired by Trump amidst a campaign shakeup in June, and hired by CNN just three days later.
CNN President Jeff Zucker had defended the hire, arguing in August that is was “really important to have voices on CNN who are supportive of the Republican nominee.” Critics of the hire argued that CNN was paying a Trump campaign operative to advocate for the candidate on air, which was a breach of ethics because campaign strategists are typically not paid by networks to spin for their candidate.