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Corey Lewandowski's exile from Trump's inner circle won't last

Trashelle Odom's allegations are serious. But Lewandowski will be back.
Image: Corey Lewandowski
Corey Lewandowski waits to be introduced during the 'Save America' tour at The Bowl at Sugar Hill on Jan. 3, 2021, in Sugar Hill, Georgia.David J. Griffin / Icon Sportswire/ Getty Images

Corey Lewandowski is disliked. He’s disliked both among former President Donald Trump’s top advisers and throughout the broader political community. Last week, he was removed from his position as head of a pro-Trump super PAC. And anyone who has followed Lewandowski’s career would be right to wonder how did a person so backstabbing, conniving and self-serving cling to power before this final downfall? But here’s the thing: he’ll be back.

I don’t know what role he’ll be in, or how he’ll manage it, but Lewandowski will make a return to Trump’s political circle. Obviously, this has nothing to do with Lewandowski’s qualifications (mediocre) or behavior (despicable). But given who sits at the head of this syndicate, I’m sure that Lewandowski’s sins will ultimately prove forgivable. The real question is, when?

That said, the latest allegations against him are definitely the most serious yet. Last Wednesday, Politico reported that Lewandowski had allegedly made “unwanted sexual advances” toward Trashelle Odom, the wife of a Trump donor, during a charity event in Las Vegas. Odom "alleges that Lewandowski repeatedly touched her, including on her leg and buttocks, and spoke to her in sexually graphic terms," Politico reported, adding that Lewandowski "stalked" her throughout the evening.

David Chesnoff, a Las Vegas attorney representing Lewandowski, issued a statement in response to NBC News’ requests that said “accusations and rumors appear to be morphing by the minute and we will not dignify them with a further response.”

After Politico’s article was published, Odom filed a report with the Boise Police Department against Lewandowski. Odom’s attorney also told Politico that at one point in the night Lewandowski “threw his drink at Mrs. Odom, and it landed all over her shoe and the bottom of her dress,” and “called her stupid.” One attendee who Odom spoke with after the incident told Politico that she “felt intimidated by Lewandowski’s claims that he has control over the former president’s orbit and can determine the fate of those around Trump.”

This isn’t the first time we were sure that we’d seen the last of Corey

It’s true that Lewandowski has always managed to maintain close ties to the former president, much to the chagrin of other members of Trumpworld. Even before these allegations, Lewandowski’s enemies were lobbying Trump to have him exiled, according to the Daily Beast. His firing from Make America Great Again Action on Wednesday must have been music to many ears. His time as an informal adviser to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also ended abruptly Friday.

Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis has a superb rundown of the lengthy list of Lewandowski’s distinctly heinous behavior. Lewis argues that because Lewandowski messed with the money this time, Trump finally had to cut him loose. But this isn’t the first time we were sure that we’d seen the last of Corey.

In 2016, he was fired from his role as campaign manager after allegedly grabbing a journalist so hard that she bruised and being caught on video assaulting a protester. But Trump (and presumably others) brushed aside the video evidence, claiming it was another person who manhandled the protester, and Lewandowski remained part of Trump’s inner circle.

As recently as 2019, Trump was calling for him to run for Senate in New Hampshire. Ahead of leaving office, Trump attempted to name Lewandowski to a position with the Defense Business Board, a Pentagon advisory committee, a move that was ultimately blocked.

You see, anyone can find their way back to Trumpworld’s inner circle, as long as they know not to bite the hand that feeds them. Rudy Giuliani’s work as Trump’s attorney has been so slapdash his client got impeached, and so lackluster the campaign reportedly refused to pay his invoices. And yet when Giuliani lost his law license in June, Trump was quick to issue a statement calling him a “great American Patriot” and the “Eliot Ness of his generation.”

The only real way to get banished is by telling the truth about the boss.

Or look at Steve Bannon. Trump’s campaign manager in the final stretch in 2016, and chief White House strategist at the beginning of the former president’s term, Bannon was out the door just eight months later. But that hasn’t kept him from continuing to rally the right wing on Trump’s behalf, up to and including at a meeting of former Trump political appointees last week.

The only real way to get banished is by telling the truth about the boss. See: Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, whom Trump has shunned forever for cooperating with federal law enforcement’s various investigations. Former Attorney General William Barr is likewise persona non grata after confirming that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

The difference between Barr and Lewandowski is that Barr still has a constituency outside of Trump’s orbit. The Federalist Society isn’t about to excommunicate him from its ranks. Lewandowski may have finally burned enough bridges with the other members of Trump’s cohort that he’s lost his influence.

But as the Beast pointed out, Trump himself has “stood by and kept in close touch with Lewandowski, allegation after allegation, outrage after outrage.” Even the nobility in the court of Mar-A-Lago is fair game for Lewandowski, so long as he remains on the good side of his liege lord. And Trump has shown that he has a soft spot for the people most like him, monsters who refuse to apologize or change.