Updated on June 20 at 6:06 p.m. ET
Corey Lewandowski isn’t turning on Trump. In his first televised interview since he was fired Monday morning, the candidate’s former campaign manager was supportive of the presumptive Republican nominee and brushed aside negative rumors about his ousting.
Lewandowski told CNN’s Dana Bash he does not know why he was let go, but said he was proud to have played a “small part” in a historic, paradigm-busting campaign. “What I think is that the voters have a binary decision coming up on Election Day,” Lewandowski said. “They can either vote for Hillary Clinton and her liberal policies or they can put someone in place who’s actually going to change Washington, and I will do everything I can to make sure that the latter of those two happens, which means Donald Trump is elected president. If I can do that from inside the campaign, it’s a privilege. If I can do that from outside the campaign, that’s also a privilege.”
Lewandowski refused to take any bait Bash offered to criticize the Trump campaign, and said he and Trump had a “nice conversation” Monday morning. The New York Times reported earlier Monday that Lewandowski’s firing was part of the campaign’s pivot to the general election. He was one of the campaign’s original members, and had reportedly clashed with Paul Manafort, the Republican strategist hired this past spring to professionalize the campaign. Lewandowski reportedly didn’t agree with plans to expand the Trump team, though in the CNN interview, he seemed to agree with the campaign’s evolution.