Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski warned incoming White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly to “not try to change Donald Trump.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: Let me go back to the West Wing and how it’s organized. Here’s how Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman wrote about the Anthony Scaramucci, the new communications director, and the Reince Priebus feud at the time. This was hours before Reince Priebus was fired: “The clash between Mr. Scaramucci and Mr. Priebus offers a case study in how the Trump White House operates, a conflict divorced from facts, untethered from the basics of how government works, enabled by the lack of any organizational structure, and driven by ambition, fear, animosity and envy.”
You may disagree with some of the tone of that, but there is a consensus that the president does like a little bit of chaos around him. How does John Kelly limit that chaos? And how does the president essentially limit himself from wanting that chaos?
LEWANDOWSKI: I think General Kelly is going to restore order to the staff. His title is chief of staff, not chief of the president. And what you have seen over the last 30 years is an unbelievably successful individual who is now the president of the United States, and everything he has achieved. And the ideas that he has brought to the presidency have been something he’s talked about for a long time. And what we need now from a chief of staff is ensuring that everybody who works on the White House is on the president’s agenda.
And what I would guess moving forward is that General Kelly is going to bring the type of discipline to the staff, to ensure that the leaks are stopped and that the president’s agenda is foremost of what takes place in that building. So there will be no more back biting. There will be no more stabbing each other in the back. And what Anthony Scaramucci has said is he’s the type of person who if he wants to stab, he’s going to stab you in the front. And what I think General Kelly wants to bring is the opportunity to make sure that everybody on the staff is working for the good of the president and not their own agenda.
TODD: OK, last quick question, is there one thing that John Kelly should avoid doing as President Trump’s chief of staff?
LEWANDOWSKI: Absolutely. The thing that General Kelly should do is not try to change Donald Trump.
Chuck, as you know, I’ve said you have to let Trump be Trump. That is what has made him successful over the last 30 years, that is what the American people voted for. And anybody who thinks they’re going to change Donald Trump doesn’t know Donald Trump.
TODD: I think that’s a good place to end. Corey Lewandowski, thanks for coming on the show. Appreciate you coming on and sharing your views, sir.
LEWANDOWSKI: Thank you.
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