Donald Trump’s former campaign manager said Tuesday that someone should be held accountable for Melania Trump using wording in her address at the Republican National Convention that was lifted from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.
Corey Lewandowski suggested on CNN that the person who who must be held accountable, and even resign, is his former foe on Donald Trump’s staff: campaign chair Paul Manafort.
“I think Paul needs to take a deep look inside, and understand what the process was, make sure the protocols were in place,” Lewandowski said. “Make sure that there is a check and balance of every speech that’s going to go forward and whoever signed off, was the final sign off, that allowed this to go forward should be held accountable.”
“I think if it was Paul Manafort, he would do the right thing and resign,” he added.
Lewandowski was hired at CNN as a political commentator after he was fired from the Trump campaign last month. Donald Trump added Manafort to the team back in March in a move that was seen as the businessman attempting to add real political credence to this campaign. Reports of internal squabbles quickly surfaced, pointing to turmoil between the two top campaign aides.
The CNN segment noted in introducing Lewandowski that he was still receiving severance pay from the Trump campaign. Lewandowski said the “buck stopped with me” when he was on the campaign, and argued others should be held accountable to that same standard.
Melania Trump used wording in her address that nearly matched one portion of Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Over the course of the morning, Trump’s team has given a variety of denials and defenses of the lifted language. Manafort repeatedly denied Melania Trump used Obama’s words and said there “was no cribbing” of the First Lady’s speech.
“I think that Mrs. Trump is a very smart, articulate woman,” Lewandowski told reporters earlier in the day. “Her thoughts are her own thoughts. And I think if it was a mistake, it was at the staff level and staff should be held accountable.”
Watch Lewandowski on CNN: