After a GOP donor accused Corey Lewandowski of sexual misconduct late last month, the former top aide and confidant to ex-President Donald Trump didn’t just lose his cushy job leading a pro-Trump super PAC. He was also fenced off socially—quietly blacklisted at several Trump properties and clubs, MAGA events, and private social gatherings, especially if alcohol is served, The Daily Beast has learned.
The temporary directive, which three people familiar with the matter said came with Trump’s personal blessing, was handed down shortly after a big Republican donor accused Lewandowski of sexually assaulting and harassing her over the course of an evening at a late-September charity function. In recent days, two of these sources said, Trump has made a point of telling close associates and Republican allies that they should avoid inviting Lewandowski to public events or “parties,” particularly if alcohol is flowing or if the event is held at one of the ex-president’s prized private clubs.
Others close to Trump have already told subordinates, as well as fellow players in the party and in the conservative movement more broadly, to remove Lewandowski (at least for now) from invitations and emails for upcoming GOP and MAGA festivities, according to two sources familiar with the situation. The message was also delivered in texts and an email viewed by The Daily Beast.
One text message instructed fellow Trump associates to simply turn Lewandowski away, or alert security, if he showed up to events in the foreseeable future.
Although the news of blackballing the once-top Trump adviser rocketed across MAGAworld, Lewandowski—who has long been loathed throughout prominent MAGA and GOP circles, as well as within Trump’s own family—apparently had not been informed until contacted for this article.
As it became clear that the sexual misconduct allegations were fatal to his then-position leading the only Trump-endorsed super PAC, Lewandowski began demanding a hefty six-figure payout in exchange for quietly departing his leadership role.
That rankled the notoriously tight-fisted Trump, who has in the last two weeks privately expressed how disappointed he was by Lewandowski’s attempt to use his alleged transgression to shake loose some cash for himself on the way out the door, according to several people familiar with the former president’s reaction.
Lewandowski’s request wasn’t without precedent, however. He had previously successfully negotiated a plush monthly severance after his dismissal from Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign—an ousting which also stemmed from an allegation of assaulting a woman.
The Daily Beast reported last week that the attempted shakedown had immediately and categorically failed, with the other members of Lewandowski’s months-old super PAC, called “Make America Great Again Action,” abandoning that group to start a new one, “Make America Great Again, Again!”
A press release emphasized that the new group is now “the ONLY Trump-approved super PAC.”
The three sources said that, during his brief super PAC tenure, Lewandowski had boasted that he “controlled” which candidates Trump would endorse, claiming or spinning this to political candidates, politicians, party operatives, and donors.
“He told tons of people that,” one source said. “Bragged.”
A Lewandowski representative called the claim “false.”
“Corey says the only person who makes decisions about Donald Trump’s endorsements is Donald Trump,” the representative told The Daily Beast.
In the days since this latest Lewandowski-related scandal broke, some of his remaining friends have had difficulty reaching him over the phone or otherwise, according to two other sources who’ve tried. On Friday, the Lewandowski representative provided a statement saying that the beleaguered operative had not been told he is no longer welcome in MAGAland.
“Neither Mr. Lewandowski nor anyone on his legal team has received any communication consistent with the claim that he has been asked not to go to any Trump property. Absolutely none,” the statement said.
Trump’s spokesperson did not provide comment for this story. The Daily Beast reached out to Trump’s adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who help their father operate the family business empire, but received no comment. A man who answered a call to a phone number for Eric Trump—which Eric has previously answered—denied being Eric Trump. Asked about Lewandowski, the man hung up.
Still, Lewandowski’s exile has delighted many of his Republican enemies, which are plentiful.
For years, Lewandowski has been despised inside Donald Trump’s inner sanctum. Ivanka Trump and Don Jr., for instance, have repeatedly trash-talked him, including to Trump directly, and the two of them along with a number of advisers have suspected him of leaking on them to the press, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter say.
Despite all of this, Trump has, for the most part, held on to Corey. Various people close to Trump, even those who loathe Lewandowski, predicted that the former aide’s expulsion from MAGAworld may not last long. In private conversations over the last two weeks, the former president left the door open for Lewandowski, with Trump saying he wasn’t sure if every recent allegation sounded credible, according to two people familiar with the situation.
“The [former] president mentioned that with ‘good behavior,’ Corey could be OK,” one of these sources recounted. “Like he was talking about somebody… on parole.”
Trump, of course, has himself been accused of a range of sexual misconduct by at least 26 women. The allegations run a spectrum from unwanted verbal advances to infidelity to assault to outright rape. Two of the ex-president’s accusers—former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos and writer E. Jean Carroll—are pursuing active defamation suits after Trump denied their allegations of sexual assault and rape, respectively.
Lewandowski rode out accusations from at least two other women before the current scandal toppled him. The recent allegations were brought by Trashelle Odom, a major donor to Lewandowski’s own super PAC, who two weeks ago came forward on Politico to detail a series of unwanted advances at a charity event late last month in Las Vegas.
Odom described an evening of unrelenting pursuit, saying Lewandowski had grabbed her leg and rear end, spoken to her obscenely, described his genitalia, and suggestively showed her his hotel room key. Politico cited a number of other event attendees who corroborated her account.
In her statement to Politico, Odom said she had decided to speak out because Lewandowski “needs to be held accountable.”
“I want other women to know that you can be heard, too, and together we can stop terrible things like this from happening,” Odom’s statement said.
Asked whether Lewandowski has had any recent contact with the former president, either directly or through an intermediary, or if he plans to visit any Trump properties in the near future, his representative declined to comment.