Is Corey Lewandowski Still On Donald Trump’s Payroll? (TWEETS, VIDEO)

Corey Lewandowski on CNN's "State of the Union" (screengrab courtesy CNN)
Corey Lewandowski on CNN’s “State of the Union” (screengrab courtesy CNN)

Ever since Corey Lewandowski landed a commentator’s gig at CNN shortly after being dumped as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, rumors have abounded that Lewandowski is still working for the Donald. Well, the strongest evidence yet that Lewandowski is still on Trump’s payroll came this weekend, when Lewandowski was spotted trying to slink off Trump’s campaign plane.

Politico’s Ben Schreckinger was on the tarmac in Newark when Trump’s plane arrived, and was surprised to see Lewandowski scurrying off–while trying to hide his face from cameras.

The temperature in Newark at the time was in the 70s, so there was no reason for Lewandowski to even have a hoodie on in the first place.

It turned out that a number of political reporters spotted Lewandowski traveling with the Trump campaign up and down the East Coast that day. One of the first to notice was ABC’s John Santucci.

NBC’s Sopan Deb chimed in, pointing out that Lewandowski was now working for CNN.

This raised a lot of eyebrows. For one thing, media personnel normally don’t accompany Trump’s inner circle. More seriously, concerns have been raised that Lewandowski is still working for Trump. When he signed on with CNN, he was still taking severance pay from Trump (which supposedly ended in late September). Due to this, Lewandowski’s hiring was roundly criticized, since CNN had previously stated that it would not hire commentators who were on a campaign’s payroll. He was also reportedly advising and even traveling with the Trump campaign for much of the summer. Additionally, he is still bound by a non-disclosure agreement that bars him from disparaging Trump on-air.

On September 21, Lewandowski had a planned appearance on “New Day” canceled amid reports that he had another line on Trump’s payroll besides the severance payments. This briefly led to reports that Lewandowski had been suspended, though Lewandowski appeared on CNN later that day.

Now it looks like Lewandowski is going to have some more explaining to do. Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien thinks this is curious at best.

CNN has gotten deservedly reamed for giving airtime to a number of Trump surrogates who try to mainstream Trump’s hot air. On Friday, Media Matters’ Carlos Maza put out a blistering critique of the “professional Trump supporters” on CNN’s roster of contributors. Watch it here.

But CNN could potentially have a situation that is many times worse than that–a commentator who may be, for all intents and purposes, a Trump campaign staffer. Unless Lewandowski has a very good explanation for this, he has to go.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.