Lexbuds spoke with Corey Lewandowski, the controversial and outspoken former Trump campaign manager, about what Trump is like behind closed doors, his thoughts on the 2020 election, and John Calipari. 

Corey Lewandowski, the man who served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager from January 2015-June 2016, recently sat down with us for a one-hour interview via Zoom. If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Lewandowski, he can be quite the controversial figure.  Just do a quick Google search and you can read all about those stories. 

We could have asked Corey about some of those things, and we did talk in-depth about his testimony before Congress, but we thought it would be more interesting to discuss the Trump campaign and find out what the President is really like behind closed doors.  We chatted about things that you won’t hear on a 5-minute segment on Fox News.  

What resulted were some of the most entertaining political stories I’ve ever heard.  Regardless of how you lean politically, or how you personally feel about the President, I would encourage you to listen to the full interview on our podcast or check out the YouTube video below: 

If you are a history nerd like me, or just want to listen to someone talk shop about the most controversial president of my lifetime, I promise you’ll find it enjoyable. 

You will hear stories about why people in the campaign loved being around Trump, and at the same time find out why the President made Corey want to jump out of a plane at 30,000 feet.  There’s no way to write about everything he said in one article, but here my top 5 takeaways from our interview with Corey Lewandowksi: 

#1. Corey makes Donald Trump sound like the greatest president in history. Listen, I have a lot of criticisms of President Trump (as I do all presidents). My list for Trump may be a little longer than most others, but Corey did an outstanding job of painting Trump in a very positive light.  I guess that’s what campaign managers are supposed to do, and I see why Corey would have been very good at his job.  He told the story of one of Trump’s consultants, George Gigicos that was particularly enlightening.  George has 2 young daughters, and he happened to be traveling with Trump on the day of their dance recital.  Trump realized this and called the girls to leave them a message that said, “I’m sorry your daddy can’t be there with you today, but we’re trying to change America for you so you have a better way of life.”  As the dad of 2 young daughters myself, I thought that was pretty cool.  Corey couldn’t stress enough how much people loved to be around Mr. Trump on the campaign because of things like this.

#2. I would never survive a life in politics. Corey took us behind the scenes of what it was like preparing to testify before Congress, what a typical day was like on the campaign trail, and how exhausting all of it is.  Full disclosure, I love to sleep.  If left on my own I would sleep at least 12 hours every day.  Corey and other members of Trump’s campaign routinely had 20-hour work-days that would begin at 4am and end at midnight.  If nothing else you should listen to the interview just to hear how crazy a typical day is.  Then when we talked to him about preparing for the Congressional hearings, he said in total he spent a couple HUNDRED hours preparing.  And then would go run 10 miles or do a 25-mile bike ride to let out steam.  Corey and the people who do these jobs are machines.  Perhaps my favorite line from the interview was when, after 6 or 7 hours of giving testimony before Congress, Corey explained how Congressman Jerry Nadler declared that “the witness (Lewandowski) has requested a bathroom break.”  Corey, responded, “No I didn’t.”  To which Jerry responded, “The witness says he has to go pee.”  Finally, Corey retorted, “Jerry, listen to me.  If your Depends are full it’s perfectly fine, but don’t blame it on me brother.  Wrap this baby up!”

#3. Corey doesn’t think we will know who wins the Presidency on Election Night. We of course had to talk to him about Biden-Trump, and he had some interesting thoughts on the election, such as how Covid-19 has benefited the Biden campaign.  After discussing the problems with mail-in ballots, I asked him, “Do we know who wins on election night?” His response: “I don’t think so.”  His reasoning is that the margins will be so razor thin in some states, that a winner will probably not be declared until at least the next day.  Let’s hope it’s not any longer than that.  2020 has already been a big enough disaster, we don’t need elections results lingering for days or weeks.  Not to mention I am not mentally prepared for the social media posts that would ensue. 

#4. Corey has had hundreds of beers with Don Lemon. This gives me hope for society. One of the more fascinating things we talked about with Corey was the media, how stories are portrayed, and how a lot of what journalists do on TV (in Corey’s words) “is a shtick they do because it’s what the network requires.”   He confirmed what many of us already knew when he said “networks want people to portray a certain way about them. But off camera, they are all good people.”  Corey gave an example of how he and CNN anchor Don Lemon “would go at it on set, then walk off to a bar and have beers with Don and production team. That guy was so generous, even if I tried he wouldn’t let me buy him a beer.”  And it’s not just Don, Corey said he has done this with many others and said he could have a beer with David Axelrod any day of the week.  Which makes me wonder, why does our society get so outraged at what people say on TV?  We get into arguments with our friends and family members because of something said on Fox News or MSNBC. We delete them from our friends list, refuse to talk to them, and make angry comments behind a keyboard to try and make those on the other side of the aisle angry.  And for what?  If Corey Lewandowski can go out for drinks with Don Lemon and David Axelrod, why can’t we all get along and put our petty differences aside?

#5. Corey doesn’t think John Calipari should run for office. In fact, his actual quote was, “Don’t do it! You’re a really rich dude. Don’t run for office, politics is a bloodspot.”  I found it interesting that he did not think Calipari would be able to beat Mitch McConnell or Rand Paul in an election.  It would certainly be fascinating to see.  Kentucky loves basketball, and Kentucky loves Republicans. Would be a good way to see which one people are more loyal to I suppose.  I’m also going to ignore that Corey said Coach K was a better coach than Coach Cal.  I guess nobody can be right about everything.

There were so many other entertaining things that we talked about in this interview, and I would be remised if I didn’t include one more thing.  After testifying before Congress for 7 hours, Corey received a phone call from President Trump.  He explained to the President that he was “exhausted” and it was “a grueling day.”  To which our President responded, “Hey, Lewandowski, what are you going to go stand in the corner and suck your thumb like a little baby?  Go fight!”  This story seems very emblematic of Trump’s campaign and presidency. Regardless of what you think about him, no matter how the 2020 election turns out, Donald Trump will not go down without a fight.