MINOT, N.D. — "Corey Lewandowski, a longtime political adviser to Donald J. Trump, was removed on Wednesday from his role overseeing a super PAC supporting the former president after a donor accused him of making unwanted sexual advances and touching her inappropriately at a dinner in Las Vegas on Sunday night," reports The New York Times.
My beat is North Dakota politics, but Donald Trump, inexplicably, is still hugely popular here (a friend of mine who is a pollster said his approval rating in our state is still well over 50%).
His ongoing popularity in places like North Dakota is why Trump could very well run for president again in 2024.
This story, because of the window into Trump World it provides, matters to us locally.
It's not surprising that Mr. "Grab 'Em By The P----" would have someone like Lewandowski in his orbit.
I don't think Corey Lewandowski got canned because he was alleged to be a handsy and harassing drunk per Politico's reporting. He was sacked because he was alleged to be a handsy and harassing drunk by the wife of a major Trump donor.
"He repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful," Trashelle Odom said in the statement. "I am coming forward because he needs to be held accountable."
Lewandowski has embarrassed Trump before, but not like this.
"Aides to Mr. Trump insist this latest incident is different," Times reporter Maggie Haberman writes, "particularly because it involves a donor to the former president."
Someone stitch this on a pillow: Thou shalt not molest the donor class.
Don't ever let it be said that the Trumpkins don't have standards.
Lewandowski has been cast from Trump World, at least for now, because his behavior offended someone with money. That doesn't make him exceptional in Trump World. He fits right in.
Consider the rogue's gallery of Trump's top officials and advisers:
- Paul Manafort, campaign chairman, is under confinement at home after being convicted of tax fraud and bank fraud.
- Roger Stone, a campaign adviser, was convicted of obstruction and false statements but got a presidential commutation.
- Michael Cohen, an adviser, was convicted of campaign finance crimes and lying to Congress and under home confinement.
- Michael Flynn, Trump's national security advisor, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and has spent the time since suggesting Trump should have ordered the military to intervene in the last election.
- Rick Gates, a former adviser, served a jail sentence for lying to investigators.
- George Papadopoulos, another adviser, also served a jail sentence for lying.
Let's go back to the Politico story for more details of Lewandowski's behavior: "In the statement from Odom's attorney, Lewandowski is alleged to have said 'repeatedly that he is very powerful and can destroy anyone,' and that he 'is close with President Trump and can get anyone elected or can take anyone out.'"
"Corey was verbally and physically aggressive and forceful," Odom alleged in a statement, per Politico. "I was fearful for my physical safety."
"I was also fearful that Corey has the power to destroy and ruin everything my husband and I have been working on in our business, personal and charitable endeavors," she continued.
Or, in other words, Lewandowski behaved in a manner that's entirely in character for the sort of person Trump would surround himself with. I suspect Trump loyalists are tempted to say that this is all a put-on and that the allegations against Lewandowski are made up.
But if that's true, and these allegations aren't credible, why did the Trump political action committee Lewandowski was working for fire him?
Trump supporters say they back their man so that he can drain the swamp, ignoring the fact that Trump is the swamp.
Trump supporters say that the former president stands up for the ordinary person. Yet, it seems the only unforgivable sin in Trump World, aside from defying Trump himself, is angering the rich people who might want to give Trump money.
Trumpism is a cult of bullying and harassment where the only people who have any expectation of decent treatment are the rich and powerful who cozy up to Trump himself.
Now ask yourself, North Dakotans: Is this really what you're for?
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at email@example.com.