MSNBC’s Ari Melber Calls Out Corey Lewandowski for Lying to Him About Mueller Report Testimony
In a rare moment of self-accountability for cable news, MSNBC’s Ari Melber re-examined a past interview he conducted with Corey Lewandowski to demonstrate how the former Donald Trump aide knowingly lied to his audience about the president’s efforts to obstruct the Special Counsel probe. But the reason Lewandowski lied, Melber concluded, is perhaps even more stunning.
Replaying a segment from this past Februrary, Melber highlighted a clip that included an unequivocal denial from Lewandowski about any requests from Trump to interfere with Mueller’s investigation or the Justice Department’s oversight of it. “I don’t ever remember the president ever asking me to get involved with Jeff Sessions or the department of justice in anyway, shape or form ever,” Lewandowski said.
This was a straight-up lie, Melber pointed out. In fact, Lewandowski’s comments on air directly contradict what he told — under penalty of perjury — to the Mueller investigators. During his testimony, Lewandowski detailed two instances of the president personally asking him to first warn and then possibly fire then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions if the latter didn’t agree to putting constraints on the Special Counsel.
“There were good odds that that testimony about all of this, about what Trump asked him to do with Sessions would later come out,” Melber said. “So I ask you tonight, why would he catch himself in a falsehood like that?”
The reason, Melber concluded, involves Trump’s well-known obsession with TV coverage and how that is the primary information vector that shapes this president’s worldview and, just as importantly, his assessments of who is loyal to him. One recent, notable example: after Fox News suspended weekend host — and Trump favorite — Jeanine Pirro for Islamophobic remarks, the president publicly complained about her absence and reportedly told aides to ‘keep an eye’ on the network to watch for any more disloyalty in its programming.
This dynamic, Melber theorized, explains why those in Trump’s orbit, like Lewandowski, are so willing to lie and dissemble on air to defend the president.
“Because the New York Times reports the president hasn’t read the Mueller report himself, witnesses know his view of them depends on how they and their Mueller testimony is ultimately portrayed on TV,” Melber said. “[Lewandowski] may have calculated he could stay on Donald Trump’s better side on TV, while telling the truth about his old boss and his efforts to thwart the probe to Mueller. So just think about that for a minute. The man that ran Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may have concluded he owes Bob Mueller the truth, but can get away with deceiving his own old boss Donald Trump that he says he’s still loyal to. And Lewandowski may figure he’ll continue to get away with it as long as the Mueller report is basically never covered on television.”
Watch video above, via MSNBC.
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