Two former Donald Trump advisers — including his one-time campaign manager — are advising clients how to avoid Twitter attacks by the president, whose authority and 26 million followers can change a company’s stock price.
Corey Lewandowski, who oversaw the beginning of Trump’s presidential campaign, and Barry Bennett, a former Trump senior adviser, founded the firm Avenue Strategies in December to lobby the administration, according the a Bloomberg Businessweek report.
They boast to clients of their close ties to the president, but the New York Times reported Monday that the pair’s operation involves protecting clients — for a fee — from Trump’s “tweet risk.”
“If he’s gonna come after you, there’s nothing we can do to stop it,” said Bennett, who also served as Ben Carson’s campaign manager. “But if you want to figure out how to win in this environment, we can help you. We’re your sherpa through turbulent times.”
Lewandowski and Bennett also believe they’re also helping Trump, whose bedroom window is visible from their Washington, D.C., offices, and have set up a super PAC to help their old boss win re-election.
Their lobbying firm advises companies, such as Lockheed Martin, how to recover after angering or boring Trump — who Bennett says dislikes minute details about taxes and regulation — in meetings.
In short, companies should let Trump claim credit for cost savings, as in Lockheed Martin’s case, or job announcements, even if those plans have nothing to do with the president and no matter how long they’ve been in the works.
If they don’t, they risk Trump’s wrath and a Twitter outburst that could wreck the company’s value.
“It’s like paying a squeegee-wielding panhandler not to touch your car,” wrote the Times‘ Elizabeth Williamson.
The firm doesn’t have any major foreign clients yet, but Bennett would love to advise Mexico, whose President Enrique Peña Nieto he’d encourage to “make it look like they’re paying for the wall.”
If the Mexican president refused to go along with that advice, Trump could threaten to poach “every factory across the border with an American name on it.”