George Papadopoulos implicated a number of his fellow Donald Trump campaign advisers when he pleaded guilty and confessed to having conspired with the Russian government to influence the election. Among them: Paul Manafort, Sam Clovis, Jeff Sessions, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Papadopoulos alleges that he ran his Russian conspiracy plan past all of them before carrying it out. Let’s just say that Lewandowski isn’t handling the news well.
Although the names of the people implicated by Papadopoulos were redacted from the official documents, the media has been collectively able to piece together their identities. USA Today figured out that Corey Lewandowski was among those who had been implicated (link). The Washington Post also named Lewandowski (link). This helps explain why Lewandowski went completely berserk when he appeared on Meet The Press.
While being interviewed by host Chuck Todd on MSNBC on Wednesday, Corey Lewandowski seemed to be on the edge of a total breakdown. He was angry, uptight, seething, chopping his words, repeating himself, almost apoplectic. Chuck asked if more people in the Trump campaign were involved in the Russia plot than those who have been indicted. Lewandowski spit out these panicked words: “I don’t know Chuck but I’ll tell you this, I don’t know but I’ll tell you this, what I know is that as the campaign manager, to the best of my knowledge, I never spoke to a Russian, I never contacted a Russian, I never coordinated with a Russian, I don’t know anything about Russia.” It got weirder.
Corey Lewandowski went on to name Roger Stone and Carter Page as people whom he believes may have been coordinating with Russia (while offering no evidence). But during Lewandowski’s panicked meltdown, he didn’t bother to deny the key allegation that George Papadopoulos has made against him: that Papadopoulos told him in advance about his Russia plot. If that’s true, it could make Lewandowski guilty of conspiracy charges, or failure to report a felony. No wonder Corey is so nervous.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report