CNN has begun disclosing to viewers that its newest political commentator, fired Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, is still receiving severance payments from the Trump campaign even after shifting over to the media.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, bringing Lewandowski into a discussion about race relations on the “New Day” morning show Monday, mentioned both the severance payments and Lewandowski’s role as chairman of the New Hampshire delegation at next week’s Republican national convention. Don Lemon also disclosed both facts before a Lewandowski appearance Tuesday night.
“I think that is the longest introduction for someone who does not have a book,” Lemon said.
A CNN spokeswoman said the network was making an effort to be transparent, but did not explain why the new step is being taken. The liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, which monitors cable news coverage, said it was the first time they’ve seen the network mention the severance payments.
CNN did not immediately respond to questions about what role Lewandowski will play in the network’s coverage of next week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. A release Wednesday about the network’s planned 24-hour-a-day coverage did not mention Lewandowski, or any of its other partisan commentators.
The network has paid other commentators who had been affiliated with campaigns to deliver their perspectives, but Lewandowski’s hire drew attention for its speed after his firing by Trump and his sometime-hostile relationship with the press while a campaign worker.
The Associated Press has reported that Trump demands former campaign workers, including Lewandowski, sign agreements not to tell any campaign or business secrets, and not to disparage the presumptive Republican nominee.
A court filing obtained by the AP on Wednesday revealed that Trump is seeking $10 million in damages from a former senior campaign consultant, accusing him of leaking confidential information to reporters.
SOURCE: The Associated Press, David Bauder