President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski swore that he didn't know of anyone on the Trump campaign who'd been in contact with Russia-connected individuals, but a new report by The Washington Post blows that claim out of the water. The Post revealed Monday that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos sent an email to Lewandowski alerting him that he'd been getting "a lot of calls over the past month" about setting up a Russia meeting:
"Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right," he wrote on April 27.
On May 4, Papadopoulos forwarded Lewandowski and others a note he received from the program head for the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council. In it, Ivan Timofeev, a senior official in the organization, reached out to report that Russian foreign ministry officials were open to a Trump visit to Moscow and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting. [The Washington Post]
The email chain does not indicate that Lewandowski responded, nor did he respond to the Post's request for comment.
Papadopoulos' emails also directly contradict Lewandowski's claims in an ABC This Week interview in February. After Lewandowski insisted he'd "never" had contacts with the Russians, he was asked outright if there were "others on the campaign or associated with the campaign" who'd been in contact with the Russians "at any time." Lewandowski's response: "I don't know of any person working on the campaign that ever had a contact with a Russian agent or a Russian affiliate or anybody that has to do with Russia. None whatsoever."
Perhaps Trump's campaign manager simply wasn't reading emails from a top campaign adviser?