CNN insists there is no truth to press reports it has pulled former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in the wake of FEC filings by the campaign indicating he continued to be paid by Donald Trump’s campaign, while a paid contributor to the cable news network.
“Corey is not suspended” a CNN rep told Deadline, adding that he will be on the air today, when contacted for comment about Lewandowski’s status at the network. Lewandowski was let go by the campaign in July, and hired by the cable news network as a paid contributor days later. According to the FEC filings released last night, Lewandowski was paid $20,000 in July and in August by Trump’s campaign for what it described as “strategy consulting.”
At the time of its hire in July, CNN described Trump’s payments to its new contributor and his consulting firm as an employment severance arrangement, which the network mentioned when Lewandowski made his debut on the network in his new capacity as contributor. Trump’s campaign said similar in a widely-reported statement this morning: “Corey Lewandowski, who is no longer involved in the campaign, continues to receive monthly severance payments. The campaign will continue to honor its contract with Mr. Lewandowski, which stipulates he will be paid through the end of the year. These payments are in no way compensation for services rendered.”
That is in keeping with how CNN has described Lewandowski’s financial arrangement with the campaign when he appears on its air.
This story grew legs just hours after Fox News Channel issued a statement about one of its primetime star’s participation in a new Trump campaign promotional video: “We were not aware of Sean Hannity participating in a promotional video, and he will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season.”