Amid allegations that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign is illegally soliciting donations from foreign nationals, new CNN political commentator and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski claimed that it was actually “perfectly legal” because the individuals had “opted into” Trump’s email list. Lewandowski’s explanation suggests either he is misleading CNN's audience in order to defend Trump or he is ignorant on the issue.
Talking Points Memo reported on June 29 that elected officials from the U.K., Australia, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland have complained about receiving fundraising emails from Trump’s campaign. Talking Points Memo also reported that two watchdog groups announced they would be filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging “that the Donald Trump campaign has broken federal law by sending fundraising emails to foreign elected officials.”
CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked Lewandowski about the allegations and the FEC complaint on the July 1 edition of New Day, noting it’s “illegal to be soliciting donations from foreign leaders or foreigners.” Lewandowski claimed that it was “perfectly legal” because those who received a fundraising email “opted into” the campaign’s “email system.”
CNN has drawn extensive criticism for hiring Lewandowski as a political commentator after he was fired from the Trump campaign, due in part to questions over whether Lewandowski had signed a nondisclosure agreement before he left the campaign, which could prohibit him from criticizing the presumptive Republican nominee.