Trump family feud: How US President sparked fury with praise for ‘son he never had’

Corey Lewandowski, previously a lobbyist who also ran unsuccessfully for office twice, was seen as a ruthless figure, responsible for some of the more “cunning” tricks of the campaign. According to 2019 book ‘Kushner Inc’, Mr Trump’s three eldest children – Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jnr, as well as Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner despised him, because they believe he was “encroaching on their territory”. Meanwhile, Mr Trump adored him – someone on the Trump campaign told author Vicky Ward: “He’s like the son he never had.

They added: “Corey is amoral. He’s the closest thing Trump can get to Roy Cohn [Trump’s mentor] without the law school degree.

“He’s cunning. He’s crafty. He comes up with the kind of cunning shit that Trump loves. And he’s cheap.”

Mr Lewandowski apparently used to tell people that Mr Trump called him “my Corey” or “my kid” in private.

Even in March 2016, when Mr Lewandowski was caught on film manhandling Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a campaign event in Florida, Mr Trump stood by him.

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Donald Trump and Corey Lewandowski (Image: GETTY)

donald trump Corey Lewandowski

Corey Lewandowski was hated by Donald Trump’s children (Image: GETTY)

While Mr Lewandowski was initially charged with battery, the charge was later dropped.

According to the Mueller Report, he was a “devotee” of Mr Trump, with whom he had a “close” relationship.

However, Mr Trump’s children disliked him so much they attempted to “muzzle” him by hiring Paul Manafort as campaign chairman and chief strategist.

Mr Manafort, however, angered Mr Trump by suggesting that he should appear on Sunday morning TV instead of the candidate himself.

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Donald Trump Jnr and wife Vanessa, Ivana, Eric and wife Lisa, Ivanka and Jared (Image: GETTY)

In front of Mr Lewandowski, he apparently berated Mr Manafort, insulting his appearance, including his coiffed hair and tailored suits.

Mr Lewandowski recalled: “He ripped his skill right off.”

However, Mr Kushner later called Mr Lewandowski and accused him of stirring trouble and turning Mr Trump against Mr Manafort, yelling: “You’re not a team player!

“This is not helpful. Paul wants to do the TV shows.”

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Donald Trump and Corey Lewandowski (Image: GETTY)

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Corey Lewandowksi testifying before the House Judiciary Committee (Image: GETTY)

Soon after this, Ivanka was passed evidence from Mr Trump’s campaign aide Sam Nunberg that Mr Lewandowski was trying to leak negative press about Mr Kushner.

According to Ms Ward, Mr Lewandowski knew he was “on borrowed time” after his call with Ivanka’s husband.

During a meeting with Ivanka, Mr Kushner, Mr Lewandowski, Mr Manafort, Rebekah Mercer – daughter of the founder of Renaissance Technologies – and Steve Bannon – Breitbart editor and later White House Strategist – Mr Bannon noticed that Mr Lewandowski was “distracted”.

Ms Ward wrote: “Bannon later learned that Lewandowski knew the Trump children and Manafort wanted him gone and was trying to survive by continually presenting Trump with more potential donors, including the casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, in the hope that he would make himself indispensable.”

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Steve Bannon (Image: GETTY)

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Corey Lewandowski speaking at a Trump rally (Image: GETTY)

Eventually, the Trump children and Mr Kushner confronted Mr Trump and gave him an ultimatum – ”It’s Corey or us.”

On June 19, 2016 – Father’s Day – Mr Trump called Mr Lewandowski three times, according to the former campaign chief.

He reportedly said: “Corey, [Kushner and the children] hate me because they hate you.”

Mr Lewandowski said he replied: “No, sir. They hate you all on your own and I am just part of it.”

Corey Lewandowski

Corey Lewandowski is also a political commentator and broadcaster (Image: GETTY)

Then, on June 20, Mr Lewandowski went to New York, and was met in a conference room where he was promptly fired by three of Mr Trump’s top Trump Organisation characters.

Mr Manafort became campaign chief, although this would be to his detriment, as he was later sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for bank fraud, tax fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, conspiracy including money laundering and unregistered lobbying and witness tampering.

Meanwhile, Mr Lewandowski went on to be a political commentator, appearing on CNN, Fox News and One America News Network (OANN).