Tags: Hillary Clinton | Russia | corey lewandowski | russians | interfered | hillary clinton

Lewandowski: If Russians Interfered, It Was for Hillary

(CNN)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 11:58 AM

As a private citizen, Donald Trump Jr. had the right to communicate with anyone he wanted to during his father's presidential campaign, including WikiLeaks, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski argued during an often-contentious interview with CNN's "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo Tuesday.

He also insisted that if Russia did meddle in the 2016 election, they did it to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, not to help President Donald Trump win the White House.

"[He] can tweet or retweet anything he wants to and doesn't have a material effect on the outcome of the campaign, and he has the privilege to do that," Lewandowski told Cuomo about Trump's son, while insisting that he himself had never been in contact with WikiLeaks.

"To the best of my knowledge, I've never communicated with WikiLeaks and I can't speak to what someone else is doing, why they tweeted or retweeted something they were asked to do," Lewandowski told Cuomo. "That's not my job here ... I had nothing to do with it. Everything I would say would be speculation as to why Don Jr. did it. We don't have the full context. Let's give him an opportunity to why he tweeted or retweeted."

Lewandowski Tuesday also argued that the Russians tried to impact the election through Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign, not Trump's.

"You are saying that you accept the intelligence community's assessment,but you are saying that the dynamic was that the interference was conducted through the Clinton campaign?" Cuomo told him. "That is a notion that doesn't meet any standard or any piece of proof that we've gotten from the investigators to date."

Lewandowski pointed out that the Clinton campaign's chief legal counsel "had his own pot of money and hired an MI6 spy, head of the Russian [office] for Great Britain, to put together a dossier. We also know that the Trump campaign never spent one dime for a foreign agent to go and get information from Russia. But that's not the case for the Clinton campaign."

Cuomo, though, told Lewandowski that "we know now that's not true, Corey," as there were many contacts with the Trump campaign and "you are part of it in terms of a chain of communication."

"Let me be as clear as I can be, Chris," Lewandowski said. " I've said this many, many, many times. I have never, to the best of my knowledge, ever communicated with anybody who was a Russian, Russian agent, Russian supporter or somebody who was from the Russian government in any way, shape or form."

"How could you know that?" Cuomo responded.

"That's what I said, to the best of my knowledge," Lewandowski retorted, "Maybe you're a Russian agent."

Lewandowski also pointed out that while he was the campaign manager for President Donald Trump, the organization never hired an opposition researcher, and "Hillary Clinton can't say the same thing."

Further, he said, the bottom line for Clinton's loss was because she did not go to Wisconsin or Michigan.

"So what?" Cuomo said. "Was Russia behind that, too?"

"No," said Lewandowski. "You can blame anybody you want for Hillary Clinton's loss, which I know fits the narrative."

Cuomo, though said he was asking Lewandowski if Russia had a "material impact" on the election, but Lewandowski said he has no idea.

"The way you run around from the questions and distract to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama doesn't help," said Lewandowski. "It makes me suspicious."

Lewandowski also said there was no way to know if the Trump campaign knew of WikiLeaks' ties with Russia, while insisting that former campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page had been communicating with Russian officials while they were serving as campaign officials.

"What they're doing (as private citizens), I can't control," he said. "I told (Page) 'You can do whatever you want to do, you don't work for the campaign.'"

Monday, The Atlantic broke the news that the president's son had exchanged private messages with WikiLeaks.

The communications were mostly one-sided, with most of the messages that were sent to Trump remaining unanswered. However, he responded to some of the messages, while acting on some requests, the Atlantic noted.

Monday, the president's son released exchanges he'd had with WikiLeaks' Twitter account, nothing that his side of the exchanges included just "my whopping 3 responses" and accusing one of the congressional committees investigating the race of "selectively" leaking the information.

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As a private citizen, Donald Trump Jr. had the right to communicate with anyone he wanted to during his father's presidential campaign, including WikiLeaks, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski argued during an often-contentious interview with CNN's "New Day"...
corey lewandowski, russians, interfered, hillary clinton
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Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 11:58 AM
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