Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski offered bizarre pushback against an in-depth New York Times report on the president's pattern of obstructing justice in investigations into his relationship with Russia.
"Privately, Mr. Trump tried to remove Mr. [Jeff] Sessions — he said he wanted an attorney general who would protect him — but did not fire him, in part because White House aides dodged the president’s orders to demand his resignation. The president even called his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, over the Fourth of July weekend to ask him to pressure Mr. Sessions to resign. Mr. Lewandowski was noncommittal and never acted on the request," The Times reported.
Lewandowski was interviewed by Ari Melber on MSNBC's "The Beat."
"Corey, Big New York Times story alleging all kinds of evidence of obstruction by your old boss, Donald Trump. Do you view this story as important?" Melber asked. "And do you think it's problematic that The New York Times has sources there for the story reporting that Donald Trump called you and asked you to help oust Jeff Sessions in the middle of this probe?"
"Well, I think this, I think that we have seen time and time again mainstream media outlets getting stories wrong," he argued. "I can tell you unequivocally that I didn't speak to The New York Times for the story, they didn't validate any of the facts about me for the story with me."
"They say something that makes Trump look bad and makes you look okay. It doesn't say you did anything wrong, it says Trump called you over July 4th weekend and you were noncommittal. Did you get that call?" Melber asked.
"Look, honestly I have the privilege of speaking to the president on a very regular basis," Lewandowski replied.
"I don't recall this specific call they say took place on July 4th," he continued.
"As a matter of fact, they were so specific of the call -- that my kids were in my truck and we were driving to Dunkin' Donuts on the Fourth of july weekend -- would have been something I remembered," he claimed. "And since I polled my four children, they don't remember that either, they usually remember when the president calls."
"Not to say it's fake news, but I think I would have remembered that conversation," he added.
[caption id="attachment_1452350" align="aligncenter" width="640"] MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber putting up a 'New York Times' quote while interviewing Corey Lewandowski.[/caption]
"Let's put it up, let's deal with this," Melber said, putting the relevant quote on the screen.
Melber read the quote aloud.
"It doesn't mention Dunkin' Donuts," Melber noted.
"Why are you bringing that up?" he asked. "It makes it sound like you remember something specific."
"Yeah, I don't," Lewandowski replied. "I have a very, very special privilege which is talking to the president on a fairly regular basis. And I don't disclose the conversations, but I will tell you this, I don't ever remember the president ever asking me to get involved with Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice in any way, shape or form -- ever."