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Corey Lewandowski, then campaign manager, joins Trump onstage at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 15, the night of the Florida primary / AP's Gerald Herbert

Grassroots conservatives are getting emails from Corey Lewandowski asking them to donate to his super-PAC. In the fundraising email, Lewandowski tells potential donors that he "agreed to become chairman of Great America Agenda to help President Trump 'drain the swamp' and get America moving again."

The background: Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager, runs a lobbying firm Avenue Strategies with former Trump aide Barry Bennett. Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green wrote a feature on their business and noted they were "taking the highly unusual step for a lobbying firm of creating a pro-Trump super-PAC ... that they'll fund with their own money." Axios has asked Lewandowski whether that was a mistake or whether he changed his funding plans.

Draining the swamp: When Green asked Lewandowski whether his lobbying work conflicted with Trump's "drain the swamp" message, he rejected the premise. "I think what Donald Trump said was, Washington lobbyists have used their special access to the detriment of the American people," Lewandowski told Green. "Our goal here is to help companies grow and expand, which falls directly in line with the goals of this administration."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”