Last time we heard from Donald Trump’s first (of three) campaign managers, Corey Lewandowski, he’d resigned from his commentator job at CNN amid speculation before starting his own Washington D.C. lobbying firm. Then the New England native briefly entered the viral limelight when reporters covering the inauguration caught Lewandowski frantically trying to enter the ceremony (and failing). Yet everything changed Trump’s first week in office when a new BuzzFeed report indicated Lewandowski would allegedly be teaming up with an unlikely ally for a series of paid speeches.
Yet Robby Mook, the ex-campaign manager for Hillary Clinton who once called Trump a “puppet of the Kremlin,” won’t be joining Lewandowski on the road for what the firm Leading Authorities initially dubbed a “future-focused look at why Trump won.” Despite the Tuesday report’s revelation that the speakers agency was advertising the “entertaining pair [that was] sure to keep any audience engaged,” they quickly backtracked and deleted the listing on Wednesday.
Leading Authorities spokesperson Matt Jones told BuzzFeed it was simply marketing “generated by our team,” and not confirmation of Lewandowski and Mook’s team-up. “There has been great interest in both Corey and Robby individually, but want to be clear that they have not teamed up. This was solely our team’s idea,” he said, adding: “We’re removing it.”
Then again, pairings as seemingly outlandish as this one aren’t all that uncommon:
The paid speech roadshow most often takes speakers to corporate gatherings, trade conferences, and universities. The contracts can deliver tens of thousands of dollars for each speech — and hundreds of thousands for names like Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The last time Lewandowski and Mook appeared together in public, they were in attendance at the Harvard Kennedy School’s presidential election postmortem in December. The combative event featured a memorable screaming match between Kellyanne Conway and communications director Jennifer Palmieri, but as The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng reported at the time, the animosity between Mook and Lewandowski was palpable. As the latter bragged continuously about Trump’s win, the former’s “glaring… became more and more visible to observers in the room.” So much that one observer though Mook “looked like he wanted to strangle” Lewandowski.
Before the listing was removed, politicos and journalists on Twitter expressed plenty of distaste with the arrangement — especially toward Mook: