President Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski predicted Wednesday that the leakers driving coverage of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer will be fired, as the White House reportedly scrambles to find the source or sources.
“Anybody, and I mean anybody who is not on the president’s agenda that works in this administration should absolutely be removed immediately,” Lewandowski told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning.
“I don’t know who the leaker is but let me tell you this, if it were up to me, and somebody was speaking to the media [and leaking information detrimental to Trump], I would fire them on the spot, and Donald Trump will do the same,” he added.
Numerous accounts in the wake of the Trump Jr. revelations have described the White House as racked by internal drama and suspicion. In seeming reference to such stories, the president tweeted Wednesday morning: “Remember, when you hear the words ‘sources say’ from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist.”
But there is little question the president’s inner circle would like to get to the bottom of the leaks.
The latest – and perhaps most serious – Russia-related controversy started when The New York Times began reporting on a meeting Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner had last summer with a Russian lawyer who apparently offered to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Trump Jr. on Tuesday ultimately published the emails he exchanged with the contact who set up the meeting -- music publicist Rob Goldstone. Those emails describe the offer of incriminating information on Clinton as part of "Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."
Trump Jr. responded that, "if it’s what you say I love it …”
According to the president’s eldest son, such information was never provided. Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an exclusive interview with Fox News' "Hannity" Tuesday night that he "probably would have done things a little differently."
"This [was] pre-Russia fever. This [was] pre-Russia mania," Trump Jr. told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "I don’t think my sirens went [off] or my antenna went up at this time because it wasn’t the issue that it’s been made out to be over the last nine months, ten months."
However, the president’s eldest son also described the meeting as "a nothing," adding, "I wouldn’t have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."
Axios reports there’s considerable anger on the Trump team over who leaked the information to the Times in the first place.
Speculation is widespread over who may have provided the material and had a motive to do so. An earlier Times article described the sourcing as “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.”
According to the Times, Trump Jr. posted his emails on Twitter only after being told the newspaper was about to publish their contents.
As the Kremlin also reportedly is denying reaching out to a Moscow property developer to set up the meeting in question, Lewandowski told Fox News that the session was just a “courtesy meeting.”
Further, Lewandowski – who was still campaign manager at the time – said he “knew nothing about the meeting” because it “was a nothing meeting.”
“I think what this is is a giant distraction for the mainstream media about a story about nothing, and that is prohibiting the president from getting his agenda done,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of formally returning to the president’s team, Lewandowski said he likes his outside work now but would not rule out helping the president if he wants.
While Lewandowski and other Trump allies have sought to downplay the latest controversy, the contents of the emails have fueled bipartisan concerns about Trump associates’ contacts with Russia last year. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have indicated they’ll want to hear testimony from Trump Jr.
Trump defended his son on Twitter Wednesday morning.
“My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!” he wrote.