President Trump’s former campaign manager on Monday took a swipe at the president’s inner circle, blaming their inexperience for some of Trump’s most recent public missteps.
“The staff has probably not prepared him as well as they could have or should have as it related to some of those executive orders and the implementation and what that would mean,” Corey Lewandowski said in an interview on David Axelrod’s “The Axe Files.”
Lewandowski took aim at the rocky rollout of Trump’s controversial immigration executive order, which wound up in federal court.
“You have a president who wants to move very quickly, who has a grand vision of what he wants to accomplish and is leaving the details to the staff to implement and (hoping) that the staff understands what that means,” Lewandowski said.
Much of the miscommunication lies with Trump’s closest comrades, he claimed.
“As I look at the totality of senior staff – and if that’s Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner - the senior staff inside of the building, none of them have ever worked inside the government and I think it’s both a plus and a minus,” Lewandowski said. “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Lewandowski spent 18 months as Trump’s campaign manager. He was key in helping score multiple primary wins but was fired in June after a protracted turf war.
“Enough people had told him that I didn’t have the core competency or capability to get him any further than I had gotten him, which at that point was the Republican nomination,” Lewandowski said. “They believed that they needed a more seasoned professional who was going to come in and run the campaign and at that juncture they believed that Paul Manafort - who candidly had never run a campaign in his life – has been a delegate counter – was that person.”
It’s no secret that Manafort and Lewandowski at times have been at odds with one another. They were both considered rival powerhouses jockeying for Trump’s attention during the campaign. Manafort took over operational control after Lewandowski left. Manafort resigned two months later after stories surfaced about his ties in Ukraine.
Despite his lack of confidence in Trump’s inner circle, Lewandowski says he’s remained friendly with Trump and continues to support his former boss’s broad outlook for the country. He also says the Trump White House can reset and move past its first unsteady month.
“What I think you’ll see moving forward hopefully is a measured approach,” Lewandowski said. “Not to scale back on fulfilling the promises of the campaign but making sure that you have vetted it properly not only with the right legal entities but also giving a head’s up to those people in congress so you don’t have backlash from your own party.”
Trump has been dealing with the roughest stretch of his young presidency so far.
During a press conference where he was supposed to nominate former federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta for labor secretary after his first nominee, fast food chain CEO Andrew Puzder bowed out, Trump unleashed a battery of accusations against the media.
His lengthy presser came on the heels of Michael Flynn resigning as national security adviser over a controversy regarding his past contact with Russia’s ambassador.
At the press conference, Trump staunchly defended his administration’s work on everything from the economy to security.
“This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine,” Trump said.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.