Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who abruptly ended his career as a lobbyist earlier this month, reportedly told his clients that he could use his appearances on Sean Hannity’s TV show to directly influence President Donald Trump’s decision making.
According to a big profile of Lewandowski in GQ, the one-time Trump campaign chief told medical AI startup Flow Health that he could help them get Veterans Administration Secretary David Shulkin fired by badmouthing him on Hannity’s Fox News program.
“Lewandowski proposed using an upcoming appearance on Hannity’s Fox News program to brand Shulkin a ‘bad hombre’ who needed to be fired,” GQ writes. “After seeing him trash his VA secretary on his favorite cable-news channel, Lewandowski said, Trump would almost certainly call him to find out what was up.”
Flow Health wanted Shulkin out after the VA cancelled a contract it had with the company over concerns about protecting veterans’ data.
“We took this action after it was determined that the agreement, which involves genomic data from the Million Veteran Program (MVP), may violate regulations, VA policy, and VA’s longstanding commitment to our Veterans to protect their data,” Shulkin told Venture Beat at the time of the contract’s termination.
However, it turns out that Lewandowski never trashed Shulkin during his Hannity appearance, which apparently damaged his firm’s relationship with Flow Health.
Lewandowski quit the Avenue Strategies lobbying firm on May 4, after persistent questions emerged about his efforts to sell access to the president to foreign clients.