According to allegations reported in Politico, the wife of a Republican donor claimed that Lewandowski “touched her repeatedly, including on her leg and buttocks, and spoke to her in sexual terms” and “stalked” her all evening. Oh yeah, he’s also said to “remark on the size of his genitals, describe his sexual feats, and show Odom his hotel room key.”
The alleged incident cost Lewandowski his role in running a Trump SuperPAC (he has been replaced by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi), as well as his role. advising South Dakota Gov. Kristi Naem, a potential presidential candidate for 2024. (She also dropped him days after) a hit piece on the pro-Trump website American Greatness, citing unnamed “sources”, claimed the two were having an affair, which she refused.)
What is remarkable, however, is not that someone closely associated with Trump would engage in dubious alleged behavior (see Jason Miller, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Matt Gaetz, et al.), but that there would actually be effects for his behavior. Like so many in Trump’s orbit, Lewandowski has identified a pattern of inappropriate and abusive behavior that has generally resulted in slaps to the wrist followed by his forward failure.
It has been a pattern for most of his life. Indeed, Lewandowski’s political career reads more like a rap sheet than a standard political resume.
In the late 90s, he worked for Rep. Bob Ney, who went to prison after becoming involved in the Jack Abramoff affair. During that time, Lewandowski was arrested for bringing a loaded gun (with his wax) into the Longworth House office building. But his dirty laundry, as you’ll see, included more than just a loaded gun.
He then went on to work as a campaign manager for Senator Bob Smith’s 2002 reelection bid in New Hampshire. In the interest of full disclosure, he briefly became my wife’s boss during this time (she was already working as a fundraising consultant for Smith and left shortly after Lewandowski was hired). Lewandowski, she tells me, insisted on being called “the hammer,” despite the fact that this was already a common nickname for Tom DeLay. He made no advances, though she remembers once being in his apartment, where the decor consisted of “two lawn chairs and piles of porn magazines.” She left (the apartment and then the campaign) shortly after.
After Smith lost his primary, Lewandowski attended the New Hampshire Police Academy before joining the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity (AFP). During his tenure there, as Politico reported, “Lewandowski yelled loudly” [an] employee for challenging his authority, entering her personal space and calling her a “c—” in front of a group of AFP employees, including some senior officials, according to three sources who either witnessed the exchange or dealt with its aftermath. ”
Lewandowski’s big break finally came when he landed the job as Trump’s campaign manager in 2015. During his tenure as manager, Lewandowski reportedly dated Hope Hicks and was famously charged with battery after he grabbed my friend and former colleague, reporter Michelle Fields, while she was trying to ask Trump a question (Trump, of course, defended him and suggested Fields”suspiciousthe whole thing).
Ultimately, however, Lewandowski was pushed out as Trump’s campaign manager, replaced by Paul Manafort, and reportedly even escorted out of Trump Tower by security. Still, he immediately landed on his feet, as a CNN contributor (he later resigned after reports surfaced that he had signed a nondisclosure agreement that likely hampered his ability to make commentary critical of Trump), and as a Trump allied lobbyist.
In 2017, pro-Trump singer Joy Villa filed a police report saying that Lewandowski sexually assaulted her at a party that took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. Among other things, Villa claimed that Lewandowski “I hit my ass really hard, almost violent in nature.” (Lewandowski’s behavior didn’t dampen Villa’s support for Trump. This year didn’t dampen Villa screened at the Grammy Awards in a pro-Trump dress. To take Which, AOC!).
Regardless of his behavior pattern (which usually involves, alcohol, power and sex), he has always been welcomed in Trumpworld.
This begs the obvious question: why is Lewandowski finally being held accountable? The answer is also obvious. if Maggie Haberman explained in the New York Times“Mr. Trump’s aides insist this latest incident is different, especially since it involves a donor to the former president.”
Moral, ethical and legal flaws can be overlooked, but a lack of loyalty or reverence for The Donald cannot. The unforgivable sin is to do anything Trump sees as taking liberties with what is seen as Trump’s domain. That’s why, say, grab a reporter or… refuse to pay child support won’t get you banned, but denying Trump’s “big lie” will. That’s why there are Trump donors in the non-probing zone. As never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes said soDonkeys may be grabbed and thighs stroked, but the donor class may not be harassed. The MAGAverse has standards.”
In other words, do whatever you want with the normies – the reporters, the singers, the staff… the citizens– but groping a donor’s wife is an unforgivable sin, as is admitting that Joe Biden won the election.
It turns out that there really are two Americas. Some people are more important than others. And in Trump’s America, money still talks.