In December of 2016, President Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, along with Ben Carson’s former campaign manager and informal Trump adviser Barry Bennett, started a lobbyist firm.
Avenue Strategies advertised the pairs close ties to the newly elected President being located not far from the White House, Bennett at the time told Politico, “I think we’ll be providing strategic counsel most, explaining the White House to people.”
Lewandowski who was between 2005 and 2011 a registered lobbyists, told Politico, “I’ve never said I’m going to be a registered lobbyist,” he said. “What we’re going to do is make sure individuals who want to support Trump’s agenda will have the opportunity to do that.”
In May of 2017, Lewandowski resigned from the lobbying firm he co-founded, amid media reports that he was selling access to the President and working as a lobbyist, even though he wasn’t registered. The split according to Bennett was amicable, explaining to the Washington Post, it was a tough fit for Lewandowski who refused to register as a lobbyist, “it is hard to not lobby and own a chunk of a lobbying firm.”
In September of 2017, Lewandowski, just months after having left Avenue Strategies, was linked to another lobbying firm.
Turnberry Solutions LLC, started by Mike Rubino, who oversaw Trump’s campaign in several states, including Virginia and former senior adviser to the Trump campaign, and former communications strategist for Ben Carson, Jason Osborne. The pair also worked for Avenue Strategies.
Lewandowski told Politico in late September, “Get your facts right,” he said in a brief interview on Friday. “I have nothing to do with Turnberry Solutions.” Obsorne offered no comment, but according to Politico Rubino replied via email, “Nothing to comment on, it’s a business and we are lobbying on behalf of our clients. Which is something that happens across DC on a daily basis. There’s no news here and whatever additional news you publish is sensationalistic #fakenews.”
On Friday it was reported by The Wall Street Journal, that T-Mobile was getting advice from Lewandowski, as part of the companies lobbying effort to help the telecommunications company secure federal approval for its proposed $26 million dollar merger with Sprint.
On late Thursday in a statement T-Mobile said it had hired Turnberry Solutions in August, “Corey Lewandowski is now affiliated with that firm and they have offered perspective to T-Mobile on a variety of topics, including the pending transaction.”
Citing documents the Journal reviewed, the article explains that Lewandowski receives a cut of the fees paid to Turnberry Solutions. Though the nature of his work with the company is unclear, he does share Capital Hill office space with the company.
Corey Lewandowski declined to comment.
Jason Osborne told the Journal that Lewandowski having been a friend for twenty-years, offers strategic advice to the firm, but that he isn’t compensated, “in any way.” Osborne went on to say, that Lewandowski does nothing that would require him to register as a lobbyist.
In early May, Lewandowski confirmed to The Hill, that he would join Vice President Pence’s political action committee. According to the Hill, this move will allow Lewandowski the ability to play a direct role in the administration’s midterm election strategy.