Tags: Russia Probe | lewandowski | feds | warning | trump | campaign | manafort

Lewandowski: Feds Never Warned Trump Campaign About Manafort

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Tuesday, 31 October 2017 08:40 AM

Federal authorities should have warned President Donald Trump's campaign when it brought Paul Manafort on as a campaign manager that he was under surveillance, another former campaign head, Corey Lewandowski, said Tuesday.

"If you are the Republican or Democratic nominee for a major political party running for president of the United States, and there is a person who is joining the campaign in a high profile capacity, and that person happens to be under some type of surveillance by the FBI for potential wrongdoings, you would think that just from a security standpoint they would come and brief the campaign and say, look, 'we've got some concerns about this person,'" Lewandowski told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. 

It would still be up to the campaign to hire that person, said Lewandowski, but he nor the campaign were warned about Manafort, a veteran Washington D.C. lobbyist.

Manafort also was known in GOP circles, after helping several of the party's presidential nominees manage their convention efforts, including Gerald Ford, in 1976; Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1996, according to The Washington Post. 

Campaign employees also do not face the same intense background checks that government employees undergo, as campaigns are a "private entity," said Lewandowski

On Monday, Manafort and his deputy and business associate Rick Gates were charged in a 12-count indictment for several financial charges dating over more than a decade, and Lewandowski insisted that those charges had nothing to do with Trump.

"I can tell you this, the indictments that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have been handed down to them had obviously nothing to do with their tenure at the campaign," Lewandowski said.

"What I think is very important, if it is true, that Paul was under a FISA warrant prior to coming under the campaign, then I think the FBI should have probably notified the campaign and said, look, you've got a person here that's currently under surveillance," said Lewandowski. However, that didn't happen.

He added that since the charges came from before Trump was running for office, "it goes on to show that there was no collusion or cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia, so the president is focused on doing the people's business, which is tax cuts and getting the economy to continue to grow greater than three percent."

Lewandowski had served as Trump's first campaign manager, but was let go soon after Manafort came aboard. 

He also described Manafort as being part of the campaign in a "very limited capacity" to help find delegates for the Republican National Convention.

"He came onto the campaign in a very limited capacity to help us find delegates, work through the convention, and then he left the campaign, was fired in August," said Lewandowski, who himself was fired in June, leaving Manafort alone to manage the campaign.

Manafort, who officially had quit the campaign, was replaced by Kellyanne Conway, now Trump's senior counsel, with Steve Bannon serving as the campaign's chief executive officer.

Manafort left a day after The Associated Press reported that confidential emails from Manafort's firm contradicted his claims that he had never lobbied on behalf of Ukrainian political figures in the U.S.

Emails between Gates and the lobbying firm Mercury LLC., showed that Manafort's firm directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine's then-ruling political party.

The effort included not just legislative outreach, but also attempts to sway American public opinion and gather political intelligence on competing lobbying efforts in the U.S.

Manafort and Gates never registered as foreign agents for their work as required under federal law.

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Federal authorities should have warned President Donald Trump's campaign when it brought Paul Manafort on as a campaign manager that he was under surveillance, another former campaign head, Corey Lewandowski, said Tuesday.
lewandowski, feds, warning, trump, campaign, manafort
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 08:40 AM
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