Governor Noem sever ties with former Trump adviser Lewandowski | South Dakota News
By STEPHEN GROVES and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem sever ties with political adviser Corey Lewandowski after former President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant was accused of making advances unwanted sex from a GOP donor.
Lewandowski had been key to the Republican governor’s political rise over the past year, joining her at political events across the country and helping her step into the former president’s political orbit. But his time as an advisor was also marked by frequent departures of staff from the governor’s office.
Noem spokesman Ian Fury said in a statement Lewandowski “will not advise the governor on campaign or official office.”
He added that Lewandowski’s role was that of a “volunteer” and that he had “never been paid a dime” from Noem’s campaign or the South Dakota government. Fury did not immediately respond to whether Noem saw Lewandowski’s behavior at a fundraising event in Las Vegas, where he was accused of harassment.
Former Noem collaborator Maggie Seidel said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that she thought it would be “scandalous for her to continue to partner with Corey Lewandowski.”
Politico reported on Wednesday that Trashelle Odom alleges Lewandowski repeatedly touched her without her permission, made obscene comments and “stalked” her throughout the evening.
“He repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, harassed me and made me feel raped and fearful,” she said in a statement to the point. of sale. “I’m showing up because he has to be held accountable.” Trashelle Odom is the wife of Idaho Construction Manager John Odom.
Politico also said he spoke to four firsthand witnesses who corroborated Odom’s accusation as well as two people who told him about the alleged incidents.
Lewandowski was removed from his post on Wednesday leading a super PAC supporting Trump after Odom’s accusation.
“Corey Lewandowski will pursue further efforts and we would like to thank him very much for his service. He will no longer be associated with Trump World, ”Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich wrote in a statement.
He said Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general and longtime Trump supporter who had helped the group, “has all our faith and confidence in the resumption of MAGA Action.”
Lewandowski did not immediately respond to requests for comment. His attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement that: “The accusations and rumors seem to be changing by the minute and we will not honor them with another response.”
The political agent served as the former president’s first campaign manager in 2016 and has remained one of his most vocal supporters and trusted outside advisers during his time in the White House, with Trump turning to him frequently. in the event of a crisis.
In March 2016, Lewandowski was accused by Michelle Fields, then a reporter for the right-wing website Breitbart, of brutally pulling her arm after a Trump press conference. But Lewandowski has denied any wrongdoing and Trump has repeatedly defended him, even after video of the incident was released. Lewandowski was charged with drums, but was later dropped.
Lewandowski was later fired from his post as Trump’s first campaign manager after clashing with Trump’s grown children, but the separation was only temporary.
He also advised Trump’s 2020 campaign, served as a political commentator on CNN, and wrote three books on the former president.
In New Hampshire, Democrats also called on Matt Mowers, a GOP congressional candidate who worked for the Trump administration, to disown Lewandowski after endorsing the candidate. The Mowers campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
And in Nebraska, GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster said Thursday he was severing ties with Lewandowski, who had served as a senior adviser. Lewandowski recorded an endorsement video for the Falls City businessman three weeks ago, where he praised him for consistently maintaining his support for Trump.
Associated Press editors Michael Casey in Concord, NH, and Josh Funk in Omaha, Neb., Contributed. Colvin reported from New York.
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