President Donald Trump's first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has officially opened his new lobbying firm that peddles access to the administration of his former boss.
Avenue Strategies was co-founded by Lewandowski and Barry Bennett, the former campaign manager for Ben Carson who went on to work for Trump, according to Bloomberg on Thursday. Lest there be any doubt as to Avenue Strategies' angle for its clients, Bennett told Bloomberg that "we’re not here to compete with guys who are lobbying Capitol Hill. We're here to lobby the administration."
Trump’s K Street Office Is Open for Business https://t.co/XRvlk7M2Ae
— Corey R. Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) January 19, 2017
Although having a former campaign manager offer lobbyists access to the White House goes against Trump's promise to "drain the swamp," Lewandowski and Bennett insist that this didn't apply to all lobbyists — just the lobbyists conservatives happen to dislike (there is evidence to support that "drain the swamp" was always anti-liberal rather than anti-corruption).
"I think what Donald Trump said was, Washington lobbyists have used their special access to the detriment of the American people," Lewandowski told Bloomberg. "Our goal here is to help companies grow and expand, which falls directly in line with the goals of this administration."
For what it's worth, despite Lewandowski and Bennett both being fired from Trump's campaign, Trump's own comments suggest that they will indeed be able to deliver the insider access they claim to possess. "Corey is a terrific and talented guy, and I wish him well," Trump said in a statement to Bloomberg Businessweek.
When Lewandowski first announced his new lobbying firm in December, he didn't mince words about the fact that it existed to peddle access. "After considering multiple opportunities within the administration, I informed (Trump) and his team I think I can best help him from outside the formal structure of the government," wrote Lewandowsk in a statement at the time.
The new firm is half a block from the White House.