South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem won't use Trump ally Corey Lewandowski as advisor after reports of affair, sexual harassment
- South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's spokesman said Thursday that Corey Lewandowski will not be advising Noem anymore.
- Lewandowski was fired the night before as head of a Donald Trump-backing super PAC after allegations of sexually harassing a donor
- Noem's cold shoulder to Lewandowski came a day after she denied a report that she has been having an extramarital affair with the controversial political operative.
- South Dakota's attorney general said he is reviewing "concerns" about Noem last year meeting with the state labor secretary and officials from a state agency that certifies real estate appraisers after Noem's daughter, Kassidy Peters, was denied an appraiser certification.
Even the governor of South Dakota is putting Corey Lewandowski out to pasture.
Gov. Kristi Noem's spokesman said Thursday that Lewandowski — who was fired the night before as head of a super PAC backing Donald Trump after allegations of sexually harassing a donor — will not be advising Noem anymore.
Noem's cold shoulder to Lewandowski came a day after she denied, on her personal and official Twitter accounts, a report that she has been having an extramarital affair with the controversial political operative.
"Corey was always a volunteer, never paid a dime (campaign or official). He will not be advising the Governor in regard to the campaign or official office," Noem's communications director, Ian Fury, said in an email.
Also Wednesday, Nebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster told local media in that state that he had asked Lewandowski to "step back" as one of his senior campaign advisors.
"Corey and his family will remain in my prayers," Herbster said in a statement.
A law firm representing Lewandowski did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lewandowski for months had been acting as an advisor to Noem, a Republican who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, shepherding her at political events around the United States.
But on Wednesday, Lewandowski was hit with two bombshell articles.
One, on the conservative news site American Greatness, cited sources in a report that said the former 2016 Trump campaign manager had been having an affair with Noem, who like Lewandowski is married with children, "for months."
Noem responded to that claim on Twitter, writing: "These rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie. These old, tired attacks on conservative women are based on a falsehood that we can't achieve anything without a man's help."
"I love Bryon," Noem wrote, referring to her husband. "I'm proud of the God-fearing family we've raised together. Now I'm getting back to work."
On the same day, Politico reported that a married donor to the Trump political action committee led by Lewandowski had accused him of "making unwanted sexual advances toward her at a Las Vegas charity event" last weekend, which included repeatedly touching her and speaking to her "in sexually graphic terms."
Noem reportedly had been at the same event.
Lewandowski "repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful," the accuser, Trashelle Odom, said in a statement to Politico.
Two Las Vegas attorneys for Lewandowski, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, in a statement on that report said, "Accusations and rumors appear to be morphing by the minute, and we will not dignify them with a further response."
But on Wednesday night, Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump, said Lewandowski was leaving as head of the Make America Great Again Action PAC, being replaced by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
"Pam Bondi, the very talented and honorable frmr AG of FL, has our complete faith and confidence in taking over MAGA Action," Budowich tweeted. "Corey Lewandowski will be going on to other endeavors and we very much want to thank him for his service. He will no longer be associated with Trump World."
Las Vegas police have not responded to a query by CNBC about whether they are investigating claims about Lewandowski in the Politico report.
Lewandowski was charged with battery by Florida police in spring 2016 after a reporter for Breitbart News accused him of grabbing her when she tried to ask Trump a question at his golf resort in Jupiter. Prosecutors declined to pursue that case, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him.
The move by Noem to no longer use Lewandowski as an advisor came a day after South Dakota's attorney general said he is reviewing "concerns" about Noem last year meeting with the state labor secretary and officials from a state agency that certifies real estate appraisers after Noem's daughter, Kassidy Peters, was denied an appraiser certification.
Kassidy Peters attended that same meeting, and later was issued a certification.
Noem denies wrongdoing in her daughter's case, saying on Twitter: "I never asked for special treatment for Kassidy. Others went through the same process that Kassidy did."