Updated Sep 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump super PAC replaces Lewandowski after sexual misconduct claim

Corey Lewandowski speaks to the crowd during a tour at The Bowl at Sugar Hill on January 3rd, 2021 in Sugar Hill, Georgia.
Corey Lewandowski during a January event in Sugar Hill, Georgia. Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

Corey Lewandowski, a top Trump aide, has been removed as chair of the MAGA Action political action committee, a spokesperson for former President Trump confirmed Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: A donor accused Lewandowski in a Politico interview of making unwanted sexual advances and inappropriately touching her at a Las Vegas charity event over the weekend.

Details: Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich said in a statement that Lewandowski "will be going on to other endeavors and we very much want to thank him for his service."

  • "He will no longer be associated with Trump World," Budowich added.

Driving the news: The donor, Trashelle Odom, told Politico that Lewandowski "repeatedly touched me inappropriately" at Sunday's charity dinner, grabbing a leg and her buttocks.

  • She alleged that he also used sexually inappropriate language and "stalked" her throughout the evening and "made me feel violated and fearful."
  • Four witnesses allegedly "corroborated Odom's allegations" and two others said she told them about her account afterward, according to Politico.

The bottom line: Odom and her husband, Idaho construction executive John Odom, planned to have their donation refunded if Lewandowski wasn't removed from the super PAC, Politico reports.

What he's saying: Lewandowski did not immediately return Axios' phone calls, but David Chesnoff, an attorney representing Lewandowski, told Politico: "Accusations and rumors appear to be morphing by the minute and we will not dignify them with a further response."

The big picture: Lewandowski was Trump's first campaign manager, joining his team in 2016. He was fired from the role just before Trump received the Republican National Committee's nomination, but they remained close.

  • Joy Villa, a singer and vocal Trump supporter, filed a police report in 2017 accusing Lewandowski of sexual assault and demanded an apology, saying he "smacked my ass really hard, almost violent in nature" at a party that year. It's unclear what the outcome was on that report.
  • Lewandowski joined Trump's re-election campaign last year and the former president asked him to help establish the super PAC to raise large amounts of money from wealthy donors, the New York Times notes.

What's next: Pam Bondi will replace Lewandowski as MAGA Action chair.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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