On "Outnumbered Overtime" today, Corey Lewandowski said government officials should have warned the Trump campaign that Paul Manafort was under investigation.
Manafort, who took Lewandowski's job as then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign manager in June 2016, later had to step down amid reports about his unregistered foreign lobbyist work.
Manafort has since been charged with a litany of crimes, including money laundering and other financial crimes related to his political consulting work for Ukraine.
Lewandowski stressed that Manafort was under FISA court-approved surveillance and if the Trump campaign had known that, he wouldn't have been brought in.
"I think there's probably some liability there that no one from the government ever informed the leading presidential candidate that you've got a potential crook or at least someone who's under investigation," Lewandowski said. "If Paul Manafort was doing something illegal, maybe somebody should have alerted us to it."
He explained that Trump officials found out about Manafort's legal jeopardy at the same time the public did after reports surfaced in the media.
Lewandowski also downplayed Manafort's role in the Trump campaign, explaining that he was a brought in as a "delegate hunter," in case there was a contested convention, since Manafort had experience in that area from 1976.
"That job morphed into him becoming the campaign chairman," Lewandowski said. "Once [the convention] had occurred, he had no core competency to run the campaign."
On Monday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office announced that Manafort was working on an op-ed with a colleague “assessed to have ties” to a Russian intelligence service despite a court order that he not discuss his upcoming trial publicly.
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