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Lewandowski: Trump Jr. Meeting With Russians 'Wasn't a Big Deal'

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("Today")

By    |   Monday, 24 Jul 2017 10:16 AM

Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer and others "wasn't a big deal," as nothing came of it, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Monday.

"I was obviously still campaign manager at the time, and I did not participate in that meeting,' Lewandowski told NBC's "Today" show. 

"If I thought that it was a meeting that was relevant to the outcome of the campaign, I potentially would have been there. It's not something that I thought was relevant."

Lewandowski said he also does not know the people involved in the meeting.

"It was a friend who asked Donald Trump Jr. to take the meeting, and he took it as a courtesy," said Lewandowski, and he thinks that looking back on it, Trump's son would agree that taking the meeting was not the right thing to do.

Lewandowski also responded to White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's Monday statement denying Russian collusion saying that it was not uncommon for the president's son-in-law to "pop in and out of meetings."

"There was no indication of who the meeting was going to be with, or what that meeting was going to be about," Lewandowski said.

"Clearly, Donald Trump Jr. was the one who initiated the meeting, and he is the one who brought the other individuals into the meeting. I think in hindsight if he would go back and look at this, he wouldn't have done it the same way. He said that very publicly."

But, he continued, the "notion that these meetings don't occur across campaigns all the time is a fallacy."

Lewandowski, also appearing on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," pointed out that Kushner is like many other people who would show up at a meeting after being asked to attend by someone they respect.

In his statement, Kushner pointed out that he didn't read the email Trump Jr. sent him describing the meeting, and when he found out the lawyer wanted to talk about U.S. adoptions of Russian children, he tried to leave.

He said he messaged an assistant, asking him "Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting."

"There was nothing relevant in the meeting to discuss," Lewandowski told Fox News. "Jared was there for a very short period of time, he clearly wasn't paying attention, and found out this was not a meeting of any value to him . . . all of a sudden, the phone rings, I have to go, see you guys, that was the end of it."

Lewandowski said part of the issue is that Democrats are running "a narrative" that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost the presidency over Russian collusion, when the truth is she was a "terrible candidate."

"Why don't we give Donald Trump the credit the he deserves [for] destroying the second coming of Jesus himself which was Hillary Clinton?" said Lewandowski. "Donald Trump destroyed her because the American people want a new path forward and that's what Donald Trump is providing."

On the "Today" show, Lewandowski also discussed last week's administration shakeups, which saw Anthony Scaramucci being named as communications director and press secretary Sean Spicer stepping down.

He said he has full confidence in Scaramucci, and also his promise to eradicate White House leaks.

"I've been very clear that if you are working in this administration, whether you're the guy who opens the door or you're the chief of staff, if you're not on the president's agenda, you shouldn't be there," Lewandowski said.

He noted that he hasn't been offered a job in the administration himself, but he likes "being on the outside" so he can advocate for Trump "without any problems."

He did hint, however, that he is still advising Trump and his administration, almost a year after he was fired as campaign manager.

"Well look, I think I've been a steadfast supporter of the administration and anytime I have the privilege of receiving a phone call from members of the team of the president, I would always be happy to take that call and give the best advice," Lewandowski commented in response to a question from Today's Savannah Guthrie.

"That sounds like a 'yes,'" she replied.

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Politics
Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer and others "wasn't a big deal," as nothing came of it, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Monday.
lewandowski, trump jr, meeting, russia
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2017-16-24
Monday, 24 Jul 2017 10:16 AM
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