While he admitted that “perhaps I was inaccurate that time,” Lewandowski claimed he was a “truth-teller” under oath
Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager of President Donald Trump, admitted he has lied to the media in his sworn testimony Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, in what the panel called its first official impeachment hearing.
Under intense questioning from House Judiciary counsel Barry Berke, Lewandowski conceded that “perhaps I was inaccurate that time” after being shown a clip of a February 2019 interview with MSNBC host Ari Melber, in which he said he did not remember the president ever asking him to “get involved” with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice.
“Do you hear that, sir? That was you saying — on MSNBC — you don’t ever remember the president ever asking you to get involved with Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice in any way, shape or form. That wasn’t true, was it, sir?” Berke asked.
“I heard that,” Lewandowski responded.
Berke then asked, “And that wasn’t true, was it?”
Lewandowski, who is considering a run for the Senate in Hampshire in 2020, replied: “I have no obligation to be honest with the media, because they are just as dishonest as anybody else.”
Pressed further by the counsel, Lewandowski ultimately admitted that “perhaps I was inaccurate that time.” However, he insisted that he was a “truth-teller” under oath.
The former Trump campaign manager’s remarks to MSNBC appear to be at odds with what he told former special counsel Robert Mueller. Lewandowski also confirmed to the House Judiciary Committee earlier Tuesday that Trump had told him to order Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to future instances of meddling in U.S. elections — and to stop probing his presidential campaign.
“Jeff and I are friends socially, and I wanted to have the opportunity to have a meal with Jeff and relay the conversation” about limiting the scope of Mueller’s probe, Lewandowski said, referring to his efforts to deliver the president’s message privately to Sessions, away from his office at the Department of Justice.
In his report, Mueller described an episode in which Trump dictated a message to Lewandowski that he wanted delivered to Sessions: He needed Sessions to give a speech announcing that he would curtail the scope of the investigation. Lewandowski told Trump he understood those instructions, although he never carried out Trump’s demand.
Mueller’s team concluded there was “substantial evidence” that Trump’s actions met the legal threshold for obstruction of justice charges. The former special counsel, however, declined to consider the criminality of Trump’s actions, citing Justice guidelines which state that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Speaking on MSNBC after Lewandowski’s heated exchange with Berke, Melber said he found it “really striking to see, under oath, someone to admit to their lying and then explain the reason is their disrespect as stated for the press.”
He added, “Whatever one’s view of the press or the interview, Mr. Lewandowski would also seem to want to have an obligation to his own supporters, to the public, to the citizenry of this country, that he could tell the truth.”
Watch the full exchange between Berke and Lewandowski here:
‘Not true’: Fox News calls out Trump for lying about keeping US soldiers out of harm’s way
As the U.S. military grapples with the logistics of a quick withdrawal from the northern part of Syria, President Donald Trump drew criticism for abandoning the Kurds and endangering U.S. troops. There are also reports that the army's departure has resulted in members of ISIS escaping from prison.
On Wednesday, Trump defended his decision, insisting that U.S. soldiers were not in danger. "Our soldiers are not in harm's way," he said. “That has nothing to do with us,” he added, about the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds at the Turkish-Syrian border.
But top military officials told Fox News that this was not true. "Not true, according to top US military commanders who tell Fox this is a complicated, deliberate phased withdrawal with a lot of inherent risk," Jennifer Griffin, National Security correspondent for Fox News, wrote on Twitter. "Already US warplanes had to warn approaching foreign troops with a show of force."
‘Worse than Obama’: Lindsey Graham has full-blown freak out over Trump’s latest Syria statements
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday had a full-blown freak out after President Donald Trump publicly said that the Turkish slaughter of the Kurds in northern Syria was not America's problem.
Writing on Twitter, the senator had his harshest condemnation yet of the president's decision to abruptly pull American troops out of Syria while giving Turkey a green light to invade the area.
"I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision," Graham wrote. "However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq."
Trump spirals into deranged conspiracy theory when asked about Giuliani: ‘I want to see the server’
President Donald Trump on Wednesday blurted out a nearly incomprehensible conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
During an Oval Office meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, reporters asked Trump if he expected former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify to the House impeachment inquiry.
Trump sidestepped the question and launched into a rant about "corruption" in the 2016 election.
"Giuliani was seeking out corruption in the 2016 election," the president said. "There was tremendous corruption in that 2016 election. It was disgraceful what happened and what happened to me and what happened to the Republicans."