In an obvious conflict of interest, CNN “employee” Corey Lewandowski was paid $20,000 for consulting by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in July.
Matt Viser of the Boston Globe tweeted proof that Lewandowski was still on Trump’s payroll after he joined CNN on June 23:
Corey Lewandowski, via his firm Green Monster Consulting, is still being paid by Donald Trump. He made $20k in July. pic.twitter.com/4MX0FZPGsb
— Matt Viser (@mviser) August 21, 2016
Supposedly, Lewandowski was no longer a Trump employee when CNN hired him, but why was he still being paid for consulting work after he was supposedly fired from the Trump campaign?
The most likely answer is that while Corey Lewandowski the campaign manager was fired, Corey Lewandowski the political consultant was not. The Trump campaign has an employee who was still on the payroll embedded with an American news network as a political analyst.
The fact that this arrangement doesn’t bother CNN executives sends a dangerous signal for journalism. CNN no longer seems to care about its credibility. They were one of the first networks to buy into the myth that Trump is a ratings draw, and they have endlessly beaten the drum of Trump coverage.
In recent weeks, some CNN on-air talent looked extremely uncomfortable with the fact that paid employees from Trump’s campaign are also being paid by the network under the pretense of providing objective political analysis.
Trump complains about Twitter on CNN, but the truth is that he has his own paid mouthpiece on their airwaves thanks to the network’s credibility destroying Lewandowski hire.
CNN used to be the most trusted name in news, but the Lewandowski situation should leave viewers doubting the network’s intentions.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association