In the final stretch of a five-hour hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Corey Lewandowski claimed defiantly, “I have no obligation to be honest with the media, because they’re just as dishonest as anybody else.”
The moment, which epitomized both the president’s whataboutery and disdain for the truth, came as Barry Berke, a lawyer for House Democrats, confronted Lewandowski with various lies he had deployed during previous media appearances to discuss the Russia investigation.
In which @BarryBerke tears Corey Lewandowski a new one pic.twitter.com/cwLf3NEI2E
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2019
For many, the exchange was a perfect snapshot of Lewandowski’s public persona, from his time as Donald Trump’s hostile campaign manager to a sycophantic mouthpiece for the president. (He spent most of the hearing stonewalling Democrats and ingratiating himself to the president.) But for CNN, the performance registered as yet another a shiny opportunity to bring back their former paid contributor.
COMING UP: Former Trump campaign manager @CLewandowski_ LIVE on @CNN's @NewDay at 8amET on yesterday's contentious hearing and impeachment.
— Javi Morgado (@javimorgado) September 18, 2019
As anyone could have predicted, no useful information emerged from Lewandowski’s eventual appearance on CNN’s morning show. Instead, he shouted over lines of questioning and—surprise—lied about the Mueller report:
Corey Lewandowski: The Mueller report was very clear. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction.
Alisyn Camerota: That’s not what the Mueller report said, Corey.
Corey: It absolutely says that…
Alisyn: … Did you read the Mueller report?
Corey: No, I never did pic.twitter.com/kBrM9F9Mx9
— New Day (@NewDay) September 18, 2019
The decision to feature Lewandowski was widely blasted. But such criticism overlooks the fact that CNN had hired the fiercely loyal Trump ally, a man who repeatedly bullied members of the media, just three days after he had been axed from the campaign. Two months into joining the network, it was revealed that Lewandowski was still getting paid by the campaign.