Corey Lewandowski, the Republican operative who served as Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has defended his performance at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in which he was accused of obstructing Congress in its impeachment investigation into the president.
Mr Lewandowski, who has reportedly been considering a run for Senate in his home state of New Hampshire, joined CNN’s New Day on Wednesday, the morning after he told Congress he had “no obligation” to be honest with media.
He spoke over host Alyson Camerota, at times attacking CNN as “fake news” and accusing her of being “disingenuous,” while refusing to answer questions about the statements in which he said “I have no obligation to be honest to the media because they’re just as dishonest as anybody else.”
When asked about that line from the hearing during his interview with CNN, Mr Lewandowski attempted to turn the focus to Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI and a contributor to the news network.
He said his commitment to only tell the truth when under oath is “clearly more than some of your contributors, as you know, Andy McCabe, who has a criminal referral who is a CNN contributor … Alyson, you and your network continue to use him as a contributor who has been lying under oath!”
Mr Lewandowski continued to talk over the CNN host as she pressed him about his appearance on Capitol Hill, where the former campaign manager refused to answer questions from Democrats and repeatedly made excuses about why he was unable to speak about his interactions with the president.
He frequently cited a letter from the White House which instructed him not to discuss any conversations between he and Mr Trump.
The White House also ordered two other former aides of the president — Rick Dearborn, former White House deputy chief of staff and Rob Porter, former White House secretary — not to attend the hearing.
The interview quickly sparked controversy with some online audiences commenting about how CNN decided to bring on Mr Lewandowski just hours after he effectively acknowledged he was not truthful to media outlets about his interactions with the president.
“What I said was, I never lie under oath, unlike your contributors,” he said on Wednesday.
“No, what you said was ‘I have no obligation to have a candid conversation with the media whatsoever,’” Ms Camerota replied. “So you lied to the media?”
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“Your contributors lied to the FBI!” he shot back.
“Are you a journalist or are you not?” he added. “Are you a journalist or a talking head? Which one?”