Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Monday that he believed someone in the Trump White House knew about the domestic violence allegations against former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.
Porter resigned in February after his ex-wives’ allegations against him were made public. But the FBI had sent the White House the results of Wray’s background check months earlier, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to a CNN report that cited unnamed sources, Porter was even in talks to get a promotion when the allegations went public.
“We saw a problem in the White House a few months back where an individual who shouldn’t have been there continued to have access to information,” Lewandowski told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Monday. “And that was a failure somewhere.”
He added, when Cuomo pressed: “I think somebody knew.”
“Somebody knew, and the question was, what did they know and how soon did they know it?” Lewandowski said.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has faced harsh criticism for Porter’s continued employment at the White House despite the FBI reports on the allegations against him, said Friday that “I have nothing to even consider resigning over.”
Lewandowski has faced allegations of criminal wrongdoing himself: He was charged with battery during the presidential campaign after surveillance video showed him grabbing and yanking the arm of then-Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields. (Trump defended Lewandowski fiercely and the charges were dropped a few weeks later.)
And in December of last year Joy Villa, a singer and Trump supporter, filed a report with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police alleging Lewandowski slapped her butt at a party at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. previous month. Villa told CNN that Lewandowski “smacked my ass really hard, almost violent in nature.” When Villa told Lewandowski she could report the him for sexual harassment, she told CNN, Lewanowski said “I work in the private sector” and slapped her again.
Lewandowski said of the Villa’s claim at the time: “What I am going to do is to let the process play forward just as you did when you were accused of sexual harassment in your own case.”
Here’s the photo of @CLewandowski_ seconds before he slapped my ass, I told him to stop, and then he did it again. I was shocked and embarrassed by his behavior. https://t.co/61EYvOG4e9 pic.twitter.com/a8NgLnvCEZ
— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) December 23, 2017
Pressed again by Cuomo Monday, Lewandowski said of the media’s questions about Porter: “There is some clear legitimacy to those questions.” Cuomo did not ask Lewandowski about Villa’s allegation.