Corey Lewandowski has a new bottom of procedures in Washington: a stylish, century-older rowhouse that resembles his private version of the “Breitbart Embassy.”
Just mainly because Steve Bannon does at the rowhouse twelve blocks away where Breitbart News sometimes holds meetings and hosts parties, Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former campaign supervisor, remains upstairs when he’s in town, according to five people familiar with the arrangement. The lower floors serve as his workspace, along with the office buildings of Turnberry Solutions, a lobbying organization started come early july by another Trump plan veteran.
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Lewandowski has said he has nothing to do with Turnberry, but the organization lists the rowhouse’s address on most of its lobbying disclosures, and a Turnberry nondisclosure contract recently sat on a desk in the front room. Indications of Lewandowski’s presence also abounded when a POLITICO reporter visited the house last month, including framed copies of article content about Lewandowski in the printing editions of POLITICO and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts, his hometown.
“You could call this the Turnberry embassy,” said John Fredericks, a pal of Lewandowski’s who sometimes broadcasts his syndicated radio show, “The John Fredericks Show,” out of the dining area and allowed a POLITICO reporter to join him there.
Pressed on that explanation, he corrected himself.
“Nobody knows what Turnberry is, so I would call it the Lewandowski embassy,” Fredericks stated. “On the air, I call it the Corey Lewandowski galactic headquarters.”
Lewandowski and his family group stay in New Hampshire, but his Capitol Hill headquarters may be the latest signal that he is committed to creating a presence in Trump’s Washington. And Turnberry – a name that telephone calls to head Trump Turnberry, the president’s Scottish golfing resort – is apparently the latest of a series of companies with ties to Lewandowski which have cashed in on connections to the administration.
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Lewandowski started a lobbying firm, Avenue Approaches, late this past year with another Trump plan veteran, Barry Bennett, but quit in-may after a series of stories raised questions about Lewandowski selling access to the president. He quickly started another organization, Lewandowski Strategic Advisors, which The New York Circumstances reported was advising an Ohio payday loan provider that was previously a lobbying client of Avenue Strategies.
Lewandowski was not registered as a lobbyist since 2011, and he’s insisted repeatedly that the task he’s doing doesn’t meet the description of lobbying. But two people familiar with Lewandowski’s job said he has pitched clients on his ties to Trump, even though he lost some of his access to the president with the arrival of chief of staff John Kelly, as do various other outside advisers. (Lewandowski has complained to associates about any of it, according to people who’ve spoken to him.)
“He’s evidently making high-level asks of important people in the administration, and sometimes even the president himself,” stated one consultant who shares clients with Lewandowski and has heard his pitch to them. “Those clients are clearly selecting him for his expertise and expertise of the way the administration works.”
“He sells how well he recognizes Trump and that he understands Trump and recognizes all the people around him,” said someone else who has spoken with Lewandowski, adding that he boasted of offers to represent foreign governments.
Lewandowski may be considering dealing with other organizations, too. He’s kept discussions with the BGR Group, a high Washington lobbying firm, about working together aswell, according to a person familiar with the talks. But it’s unclear whether those talks are going anywhere or precisely what Lewandowski’s role would be.
Asked for comment the other day, Lewandowski responded by text that he was on a plane and asked a reporter to give written queries. But he didn’t respond to emailed queries or further texts or calls.
Lewandowski’s stately fresh digs are a world from the cramped office buildings he rented when he started Avenue. While he no longer has a watch of the White Property, the rowhouse boasts hardwood flooring, fireplaces and three chandeliers. There’s a gleaming kitchen in the rear of the main floor and a leafy backyard. Five unopened wine bottles sat on the counter recently, along with a big, half-empty bottle of Bulleit bourbon relaxing on top of a shelf.
“It’s very much like the Breitbart Embassy,” said a Trump plan veteran who recognizes Lewandowski, who spoke on state of anonymity.
Unlike with his earlier ventures, Lewandowski has attempted to maintain his distance from Turnberry – perhaps because he signed a non-compete agreement when he quit Avenue. The contract prohibits Lewandowski from lobbying for foreign or domestic clients for one yr or directing other people who do such job, according to Bennett.
Mike Rubino, a former Trump plan staffer who worked with Lewandowski at Avenue Approaches, started Turnberry in July, two months after Lewandowski left Avenue, according to records filed in Delaware. Jason Osborne, another Avenue veteran, and Rubino are the only lobbyists stated on Turnberry’s registrations.
Lewandowski insisted when Turnberry reported its initial lobbying clients in September that he wasn’t associated with the organization. “Get your facts proper,” Lewandowski said in an interview at the time. “I have nothing to do with Turnberry Solutions.”
But Joel Sheltrown, vice president of government affairs for Elio Motors, a Turnberry client, said in September that Lewandowski have been on a conference phone with Turnberry. Lewandowski as well appeared at the time to possess a Turnberry email address.
During discussions among Turnberry and the Azerbaijani government this year, Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the U.S., insisted about talking with Lewandowski just before continuing with talks, according to documents distributed to POLITICO.
Turnberry hasn’t registered to represent Azerbaijan or perhaps any other foreign clients. Within an interview, Suleymanov stated he’d fulfilled with Turnberry only once and said he had met Lewandowski on public occasions.
“I meet with five lobbying organizations a day. We by no means discussed signing a agreement,” he stated of his dealings with Turnberry.
Rubino, the Turnberry lobbyist, can often be spotted with Lewandowski, according to two people familiar with his job. “Wherever Corey can be, Mike will there be, whether that’s going out at the Trump hotel or pitching business,” one of those people said, referring to Rubino.
The clearest evidence linking Lewandowski to Turnberry, though, could be the rowhouse. Asked if the home was Corey’s personal workplace or Turnberry’s office buildings, Fredericks stated there wasn’t a distinction.
“Turnberry is Corey’s open public affairs organization,” Fredericks said. “They’re one and the same.”
The house, built in 1900, is owned by the Citizens United Foundation, according to Washington, D.C., property data. It’s not clear whether Lewandowski, Turnberry or another entity rents the house or whether Lewandowski can be allowed to make utilization of it for free.
Lewandowski worked with David Bossie, Citizens United’s president, on “Now let Trump Be Trump: THE WITHIN Story of His Rise to the Presidency,” a book due out next month. Bossie did not respond to requests for comment.
Lewandowski “does Television set and radio interviews” inside your home, said one individual who knows Lewandowski and has been to the rowhouse. “He lets friends of his utilize it. It really is pretty open-door.”
One of those friends, Fredericks, said Lewandowski will sometimes “just come downstairs and pop on” his radio show.
The house also provides nods to Lewandowski’s new influence in Washington, a city where few had heard about him before he took the helm of Trump’s campaign in 2015.
The framed POLITICO story was a May well piece headlined “Trump eyeing Lewandowski, Bossie as crisis managers.”
And a letter from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that hangs on the wall structure, dated July 20, 2017, thanks a lot Lewandowski for addressing customers of the Conservative Opportunity Society, of which King is chairman.
“Corey, you lit them up!” King wrote in a handwritten note at the bottom of the letter. “And you took action – a lot of us will carry out through on your excellent advice.”