Corey Lewandowski has advocated for pay-day lenders that prey on the
most vulnerable Americans directly to the president on national
television.

 

New York Times: Lewandowski, Who Has A Keen Understanding Of Trump’s Media Tastes And Habits, Used An Appearance On Meet The Press To Advance Community Choice Financial’s Interests, Calling For Trump To Fire CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, Who Had Led Efforts To Pass New Payday Lending Requirements. “In an email, Mr. Lewandowski said he was not a lobbyist. ‘I don’t lobby and I don’t intend to lobby — ever,’ he wrote. But Mr. Lewandowski, who is known for his keen understanding of Mr. Trump’s news media tastes and habits, used an appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday to press his new client’s interests, calling for Mr. Trump to oust the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, an Obama holdover who has led the effort to pass new payday lending requirements. ‘It’s my recommendation to the president of the United States to fire Richard Cordray,’ Mr. Lewandowski said.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]

  • One Of Lewandowski Strategic Advisors First Clients Was Community Choice Financial, A Leader In The Payday Lending Industry, Which Fought Efforts By The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To Limit Loan Practices That Consumer Advocates Called Abusive. “Mr. Lewandowski started his new business, Lewandowski Strategic Advisors, in May, according to corporate documents filed in Delaware, eight days after he announced he would part ways with the Washington lobbying firm he helped found, Avenue Strategies. […] Among the first new clients of Lewandowski Strategic Advisors is an Ohio-based company called Community Choice Financial. The company is a leader in the payday lending industry, which has faced heightened federal scrutiny in recent years. Payday lenders have energetically fought efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to limit loan practices that consumer advocates have called abusive. Community Choice Financial’s chief executive, William E. Saunders Jr., once referred to the bureau as ‘the great Darth Vader’ of the federal government.” [New York Times, 8/1/17] 

  • Video: Lewandowski Suggesting On NBC’s Meet The Press That Trump Fire CFPB Head, Richard Cordray. [NBC, Meet The Press, 7/30/17]

July 2017: After Calling On Trump To Fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Lewandowski Was Asked If He Had Any Clients That Would Want To See That, And Lewandowski Responded He Had “No Clients Whatsoever” Despite Having Signed A $20,000 A Month Contract With Consumer Choice Financial That Same Month. “But Mr. Lewandowski, who is known for his keen understanding of Mr. Trump’s news media tastes and habits, used an appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday to press his new client’s interests, calling for Mr. Trump to oust the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, an Obama holdover who has led the effort to pass new payday lending requirements. […] Rejecting a question from the ‘Meet the Press’ host, Chuck Todd, about whether he had ‘a client that wants to see’ Mr. Cordray fired, Mr. Lewandowski said: ‘No, no. I have no clients whatsoever.’ He explained his opposition to Mr. Cordray by pointing to a similar position taken by Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who has called on Mr. Trump to dismiss Mr. Cordray. But a draft contract obtained by The Times indicates that in July, after Mr. Lewandowski left Avenue, Community Choice Financial offered him a $20,000-a-month retainer in return for ‘strategic advice and counsel designed to further the goals of Community Choice Financial.’” [New York Times, 8/1/17]

  • Prior To Signing A $20,000-A-Month Retainer For “Strategic Advice And Counsel” With Community Choice Financial, Lewandowski Had Helped Recruit The Company As A Client For His Lobbying Firm, Avenue Strategies, Which Received $160,000 For Lobbying Work. “But a draft contract obtained by The Times indicates that in July, after Mr. Lewandowski left Avenue, Community Choice Financial offered him a $20,000-a-month retainer in return for ‘strategic advice and counsel designed to further the goals of Community Choice Financial.’ Mr. Lewandowski had previously helped recruit Community Choice Financial as a client for Avenue Strategies, which reported receiving $160,000 for lobbying from the lender, according to congressional disclosure forms.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]

Corey Lewandowski has offered to arrange meetings for foreign
governments and bad actors with foreign interests with Trump and top
members of his administration.

Politico: People Familiar With Lewandowski’s Pitch To Potential Clients Said He Has Pledged That He Would Personally Call Trump Or His Cabinet Members If Necessary On Behalf Of Prospective Avenue Strategies Clients. “However, people who are familiar with Lewandowski’s pitch to potential clients say he has pledged that he would personally call Trump or his Cabinet members if necessary on behalf of prospective Avenue Strategies clients.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

 

At A Party Lewandowski Threw To Woo Potential Lobbying Clients At Avenue Strategies Corporate Offices, Lewandowski Boasted About His Access To Trump. “Access can be highly lucrative for lobbyists, particularly in the age of Trump, since relatively few established K Street powerhouses have ties to the new president. At a large party Lewandowski threw earlier this year to woo potential clients at Avenue’s corporate offices, he pointed out that the office overlooks the White House, and boasted about his access to the president and some of his clients, according to an attendee.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

In The Case Of At Least Two Clients Signed By Avenue Strategies, Lewandowski Said He Would Personally Make Calls To Trump And Administration Officials To Help The Clients Achieve Their Policy Goals. “In the cases of two clients signed by Avenue Strategies — a biomedical data company called Flow Health and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration — Lewandowski said he would personally make calls to Trump and administration officials to help the clients achieve their public policy goals, according to three people familiar with Avenue’s pitches to the clients.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

Politico: Trump White House Officials Worried That Lewandowski’s Brazen Efforts To Market His Access To Trump Were An Influence-Peddling Scandal Waiting To Happen For Trump. “Yet Lewandowski has not formally registered as a lobbyist. The lack of any such registration by Lewandowski to date — combined with his boasts about his Trump connections — irks competing lobbyists and ethics watchdogs. They say Lewandowski is flouting the spirit of the lobbying rules, and abusing his access to the Trump White House. Meanwhile, White House officials worry that Lewandowski’s efforts to market his access — which are brazen even by K Street’s unbashful standards — are an influence-peddling scandal waiting to happen for a president who pledged to end the dominance of lobbyists and special interests in Washington.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

 

Vice President Of Government Watchdog Group, Public Citizen: “‘Whether Corey Lewandowski Is Just Engaging In Business As Usual Or Actually Going Further, It Definitely Has A Pervading Swampiness To It That Has Become The New Normal In Trump’s Washington” “‘Whether Corey Lewandowski is just engaging in business as usual or actually going further, it definitely has a pervading swampiness to it that has become the new normal in Trump’s Washington,’ said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for the government watchdog group Public Citizen.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

In February 2017, Lewandowski Said That Being An Expert On Trump Was A “Comparative Advantage” For Him On K Street Since There Were “Just So Few People In Washington Who Know The President.” “Through it all, Lewandowski remained close to Trump and spoke to him often. But after the election, the White House job Lewandowski hoped for never quite materialized. Now Lewandowski, too, was on K Street. He had joined up with another former Trump aide, Barry Bennett, to start a lobbying firm called Avenue Strategies. Unlike other people on K Street, Lewandowski did not pretend to be an expert on the legislative calendar or the fine points of the Administrative Procedure Act. He was an expert on Trump. ‘There are just so few people in Washington who know the president,’ Lewandowski told me in February. ‘It’s a comparative advantage.’ He was not shy about playing up their friendship. He sometimes tweeted from the White House grounds. When journalists or other visitors came to his office, on Pennsylvania Avenue a few blocks from the White House, he would point out his window to where, he claimed, he could see the president’s bedroom.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]

In December 2016, Lewandowski Delivered A Face-To-Face Meeting With Trump For A Prospective Client, Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim. “In at least one instance, Lewandowski and his team did in fact deliver a meeting with Trump and a prospective client of their firm — Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The December sit-down at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort came days after Lewandowski had traveled to Mexico on a business-development trip and met with Slim, who had traded barbs with Trump during the presidential campaign. ‘And from that meeting, they all thought it would be interesting if Mr. Slim met with Mr. Trump, and that’s what happened,’ said Slim spokesman Arturo Elias Ayub. While Bennett suggested at the time that the relationship might lead to a contract, Ayub stressed that it has not.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

  • Government Watchdog Group Public Citizen Argued That Lewandowski May Have Been Obligated To Disclose His Efforts To Broker A Meeting Between Slim And Trump Pursuant To The Foreign Agents Registration Act. “Even without money changing hands, Gilbert of Public Citizen argued that Lewandowski or his associates may have been obligated to disclose their efforts to broker the meeting to the Justice Department pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It requires anyone representing foreign entities — including governments, politicians, individuals or companies — in the U.S to report their activities within 10 days ‘of agreeing to become an agent and before performing any activities for the foreign principal.’” [Politico, 4/28/17]

A Lobbying Firm Co-Founded By Lewandowski, Washington East West Political Strategies, Appeared To Have Pitched Foreign Clients Around The World By Offering Face Time With Trump, Pence, And Other Senior Administration Officials. “A firm co-founded by Donald Trump’s original campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appears to have been pitching clients around the world by offering not only policy and political advice, but also face time with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and senior members of their administration, according to documents and interviews. A document provided to an Eastern European politician by an international consulting firm that Lewandowski co-founded this year promises to arrange ‘meetings with well-established figures,’ including Trump, Pence, ‘key members of the U.S. Administration and outside Trump allies.’ The previously unreported firm, Washington East West Political Strategies, was created by Lewandowski and fellow Trump campaign veteran Barry Bennett — as well as an Azerbaijani oil executive and an American political consultant who works extensively in Russia — to prospect for political business in Eastern Europe. And Lewandowski and Bennett have created different firms with other partners to prospect in the Middle East, Canada and Central America, Bennett said.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

  • Politico: Documents From Washington East West Political Strategies Boasted That Its Clients Would Benefit From Its Partners Ability To “Leverage” Their “Trusted Relations With The U.S. Administration.” “The Washington East West Political Strategies document boasts that its clients will benefit from its partners’ ability to ‘leverage’ their ‘trusted relations with the U.S. Administration,’ as well as European parliamentarians and leading Western journalists.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

New York Times: A Prominent Watchdog Group Sent A Letter To The Justice Department Asking Officials To Investigate Why Lewandowski Had Never Registered Under The Foreign Agents Registration Act. “A prominent watchdog group had sent a letter to the Justice Department asking officials there to investigate why Lewandowski had never registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a World War II-era law that imposes stringent disclosure requirements on Americans representing foreign governments in Washington. (Though Bennett and other Avenue employees had registered as lobbyists, Lewandowski insisted that most of his business was advising clients on strategy, not setting up meetings or contacting officials on their behalf, the kind of work that requires you to register.) Politico had struck again, revealing Avenue’s Citgo contract. Technically, the United States-based company was owned by the left-wing government of Venezuela, whose vice president the Trump administration had accused of drug trafficking.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]

Corey Lewandowski offered big Wall Street firms that are ripping off
the middle class access to Trump's Twitter account when pitching them
on his services at his lobbying firm, Avenue Strategies.

BuzzFeed: Lewandowski Told Prospective Lobbying Clients That He Had Access To Trump’s Twitter Account As A Selling Point When Talking To At Least Two Companies, Facebook And Blackstone Group, A Private Equity Firm. “The former campaign manager for President Donald Trump's White House bid has told prospective lobbying clients that he has access to Trump's Twitter account, four sources told BuzzFeed News. In discussions with representatives from at least two different potential clients — Facebook and financial company Blackstone Group — Lewandowski mentioned having access to Trump's Twitter account as a selling point, according to different sources who were briefed on each meeting by participants. Sources also said Lewandowski brought up the same thing in additional meetings as well, but it's unclear which other companies he was courting when he made the same claim. […] It was unclear to one of the sources briefed by the meeting participants whether Lewandowski was saying he actually has access to the account, or just that he has the ear of Trump and his digital staff. A White House official told BuzzFeed News that Lewandowski ‘does not have access’ to Trump's Twitter account. Those in the room who were expecting a detailed government relations pitch were taken aback by the claim, two sources familiar with the meetings said. […] Lewandowski recently joined with another former Trump staffer, Barry Bennett, to open Avenue Strategies. Bennett was also Ben Carson's campaign manager last year.” [BuzzFeed, 2/15/17]

Lewandowski Said That The Old Model Of Washington Influence Wouldn’t Work On Trump, Who Old Lobbyists Don’t Know Or Understand, Saying “If You’re A Corporate C.E.O. And The President Tweeted At your And Your Stock Dropped […] You Say: Why Am I Paying All These Guys So Much Money?” “Everyone had seen what happened to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed, the federal government’s single biggest contractor, is a powerful presence inside the Beltway. But through the winter, Trump had lashed out at the company over cost overruns on the F-35 fighter jet. The company’s shares dropped each time, taking Lockheed’s value down by billions of dollars. These were the kinds of problems that Lewandowski believed others on K Street couldn’t help with. ‘If you’re a corporate C.E.O. and the president has tweeted at you and your stock has dropped 4 percent, you say: ‘Why am I paying all these guys so much money?’’ Lewandowski said. The old model of Washington influence wouldn’t work on Trump, he believed. ‘They don’t know him, and they don’t know any of his guys, and they don’t understand how he thinks.’ Eventually Lockheed, too, turned to Avenue.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]

Lockheed Martin Hired Lewandowski’s Avenue Strategies After Trump Lashed At Out At The Company On Twitter Over Cost Overruns On The F-35 Fighter, After Which Avenue Strategies Advised The Company That With Trump, “In The End, It’s Going To Be Transactional.” “Everyone had seen what happened to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed, the federal government’s single biggest contractor, is a powerful presence inside the Beltway. But through the winter, Trump had lashed out at the company over cost overruns on the F-35 fighter jet. The company’s shares dropped each time, taking Lockheed’s value down by billions of dollars. […] Eventually Lockheed, too, turned to Avenue. These were the kinds of problems that Lewandowski believed others on K Street couldn’t help with. Over the course of a few conversations with the company’s Washington office, Bennett told me, they advised Lockheed on how Marillyn Hewson, its president and chief executive, should approach conversations: ‘Short, direct, honest answers,’ as Bennett recounted it for me later. ‘Feel free to educate the president. In the end, it’s going to be transactional.’ The next time Hewson met with Trump, a week before the inauguration, she came bearing gifts: a potential F-35 price cut and a promise to add jobs at a Texas plant. The Twitter attacks ceased. By the end of February, Trump was praising Lockheed. ‘They’ve just announced eighteen hundred new jobs,’ Trump told reporters after a meeting with Hewson and other manufacturing executives. ‘I have to say this, Marillyn, you’ve gotten a lot of credit because what you did was the right thing.’” [New York Times, 8/30/17]

Lockheed Martin Never Actually Signed A Contract With Avenue Strategies, Issuing A Carefully Worded Statement After News Leaked Of Lewandowski’s Role In Advising The Company On Trump That Stated That Lockheed “Has Not Retained Lewandowski, Or His Lobbying Firm.” “Lockheed never actually signed a contract with Avenue; when news leaked of Lewandowski’s role in advising it on Trump, a Lockheed spokesman issued a carefully worded statement that ‘Lockheed has not retained Lewandowski, or his lobbying firm.’ In the same way that most big chief executives turned up their noses at Trump during the campaign but now hoped he would deliver tax reform and sweeping deregulation, they wanted Lewandowski’s help without being too closely associated with him.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]

New York Times: One Person Offered Lewandowski $250,000 Just To Get The President To Tweet About Him. “Many of the Trump-connected lobbyists told me they were turning away as much business as they accepted. One person offered Lewan­dowski $250,000 just to get the president to tweet about him.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]

Corey Lewandowski said that he would let a company pick a member of
Trump's cabinet to help them secure taxpayer money through a massive
government contract.

Lewandowski’s Lobbying Partner At Avenue Strategies Boasted To A Prospective Client Looking To Lobby The VA That He And Lewandowski Were “Personally Vetting” Candidates To Become Trump’s VA Secretary And Would Solicit The Client’s CEO For Recommendations On Fillings VA Positions. “As soon as he threw open the doors in January at Avenue Strategies, Lewandowski was boasting that business was booming. […] One of those smaller companies was Flow Health, a San Francisco–based startup that needed some help navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs. The relationship that Avenue Strategies struck up with Flow Health would veer from hopeful to acrimonious quickly—and reveal a lot about how Lewandowski was selling himself in Washington. Last October, Flow Health had partnered with the VA on a project to use artificial intelligence to improve patient care. When the agency abruptly terminated the deal in December, Flow Health began shopping for a lobbying firm to help it convince the VA to reconsider. […] The day after Christmas, Alex Meshkin, Flow Health's CEO, traveled to a Ritz-Carlton in suburban Virginia to meet with Bennett, while Lewandowski dialed in from his home in New Hampshire, where he was spending the holidays with his wife and four children. According to sources familiar with their discussions, Lewandowski and Bennett told Meshkin that if Flow Health hired Avenue, getting the VA's decision reversed before the inauguration would be no problem. Bennett boasted that he and Lewandowski were ‘personally vetting’ the various candidates Trump would consider to become the new VA secretary and that they would solicit Meshkin himself on recommendations for the VA's new Chief Information Officer—the very official who'd administer the partnership Flow Health hoped to reinstate. ‘What's better than us getting you a meeting,’ Bennett told Meshkin, ‘is you picking the person who's going to be there.’" [GQ, 5/15/17]

Lewandowski’s Lobbying Partner Said Of Their Influence In Picking Trump’s Cabinet Nominees: “What’s Better Than Us Getting You A Meeting Is Your Picking The Person Who’s Going To Be There.” “According to sources familiar with their discussions, Lewandowski and Bennett told Meshkin that if Flow Health hired Avenue, getting the VA's decision reversed before the inauguration would be no problem. Bennett boasted that he and Lewandowski were ‘personally vetting’ the various candidates Trump would consider to become the new VA secretary and that they would solicit Meshkin himself on recommendations for the VA's new Chief Information Officer—the very official who'd administer the partnership Flow Health hoped to reinstate. ‘What's better than us getting you a meeting,’ Bennett told Meshkin, ‘is you picking the person who's going to be there.’" [GQ, 5/15/17]

A Lobbying Firm Co-Founded By Lewandowski, Washington East West Political Strategies, Appeared To Have Pitched Foreign Clients Around The World By Offering Face Time With Trump, Pence, And Other Senior Administration Officials. “A firm co-founded by Donald Trump’s original campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appears to have been pitching clients around the world by offering not only policy and political advice, but also face time with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and senior members of their administration, according to documents and interviews. A document provided to an Eastern European politician by an international consulting firm that Lewandowski co-founded this year promises to arrange ‘meetings with well-established figures,’ including Trump, Pence, ‘key members of the U.S. Administration and outside Trump allies.’ The previously unreported firm, Washington East West Political Strategies, was created by Lewandowski and fellow Trump campaign veteran Barry Bennett — as well as an Azerbaijani oil executive and an American political consultant who works extensively in Russia — to prospect for political business in Eastern Europe. And Lewandowski and Bennett have created different firms with other partners to prospect in the Middle East, Canada and Central America, Bennett said.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

  • Politico: Documents From Washington East West Political Strategies Boasted That Its Clients Would Benefit From Its Partners Ability To “Leverage” Their “Trusted Relations With The U.S. Administration.” “The Washington East West Political Strategies document boasts that its clients will benefit from its partners’ ability to ‘leverage’ their ‘trusted relations with the U.S. Administration,’ as well as European parliamentarians and leading Western journalists.” [Politico, 4/28/17]

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