Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski seems to have landed a pretty sweet deal. He’s been hired by CNN to discuss the 2016 election despite still being paid by the Trump campaign.
CNN’s Don Lemon revealed that latter tidbit when he introduced Lewandowski on his show Monday: "Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski ... is still receiving severance from the Trump campaign. He will be the chair of the New Hampshire delegation at the Republican convention, and he is a CNN political commentator."
Lemon, who struggled to keep a straight face through the introduction, added, "I think that is the longest introduction for someone who does not have a book."
Even before Lemon’s revelation, CNN’s decision to hire Lewandowski was met with deep skepticism, in large part due to Lewandowski’s reputation. Among other things, he had previously made headlines for allegedly physically assaulting reporter Michelle Fields on the campaign trail, banning reporters from Trump events, and verbally harassing female co-workers.
Lewandowski has also reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement with the Trump campaign — which restricts him from speaking ill of his former boss. That all puts CNN in an ethically dubious spot. Back in June, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan even went so far as to say CNN’s hiring of Lewandowski "insults the press":
Even in the highly competitive, ratings-mad, hardball-playing world of cable television, there should be a bridge too far.
In hiring Donald Trump’s fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, CNN ran blithely across that bridge and plunged into a sea of muck.
Bringing Lewandowski onboard is an astonishing reward for behavior that should cause him to be shunned by respectable journalistic organizations.
And that was all before anyone realized Lewandowski is still being paid by the Trump campaign.