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Corey Lewandowski admits he lied on TV about Russia investigation



Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump‘s former campaign manager and one of his confidants, admitted during combative congressional testimony on Tuesday that he lied on national television, insisting that he has “no obligation to be honest with the media.”

Lewandowski made the admission during five hours of televised testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, during which he was questioned by a host of House Democrats and Republicans, as well as Barry Berke, a white-collar defense attorney who’s consulting for the Democrats on the committee.

“Prior to the Mueller report being published in redacted form, did you ever misrepresent what you did on behalf of the president?” Berke asked Lewandowski.

After Lewandowski said he couldn’t recall any such instance, Berke showed a clip of an MSNBC interview in which Lewandowski insisted, “I don’t ever remember the president ever asking me to get involved with Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice in any way, shape, or form.”

“That wasn’t true, was it, sir?” Berke asked.

“I have no obligation to be honest with the media because they are just as dishonest as anybody else,” Lewandowski replied, later conceding, “perhaps I was inaccurate that time.”

Lewandowski confirmed on Tuesday that Trump asked him to tell then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in 2017. Lewandowski was never part of the Trump administration and served as an outside adviser to the president.

The move, detailed in Mueller’s report, might have amounted to illegal obstruction of justice. The special counsel’s investigators suggested that the episode offered substantial evidence that Trump attempted “to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the president’s and his campaign’s conduct.”

Read more: John Kelly reportedly grabbed a former Trump official by the collar and pushed him against the wall during a heated argument

Following Trump’s request, Lewandowski organized a meeting with Sessions, but never passed on the presidential directive. He claimed on Tuesday that the president’s demands didn’t include “anything illegal.”

Lewandowski peppered his testimony with refusals to answer House Democrats’ questions, citing the White House’s assertion of executive privilege over “the substance of any discussion with the president or his advisers.”

Democrats condemned Lewandowski’s performance, chastising him for avoiding questions and undermining the purpose of the hearing.

“The pattern of obstruction laid out in the Mueller report has not stopped,” the Democratic committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler said. “You showed the American public in real time that the Trump administration will do anything and everything in its power to obstruct the work of the Congress.”

Trump has long praised Lewandowski for his obstinacy and general hostility towards the media and his political opponents.

“Speaking of not being a patsy or a pushover, you ever watch Corey Lewandowski on the shows?” Trump told a Michigan rally last year before inviting Lewandowski to speak to the crowd.

Trump praised Lewandowski’s performance on Tuesday, tweeting out a video of his opening statement, which the president called “beautiful.”

“Thank you Corey,” Trump tweeted.

Lewandowski also controversially used his moment in the spotlight to promote his bid for US Senate in New Hampshire.

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