Gov. Kirsti Noem of South Dakota has sprinted away from Corey Lewandowski after the longtime Trump confidante was accused of making unwanted sexual advances on a woman at a Las Vegas charity event.
Noem spokesman Ian Fury said Mr. Lewandowski was “always a volunteer” for Ms. Noem and was “never paid a dime” by her office or campaign.
“He will not be advising the governor in regard to the campaign or official office,” Mr. Fury said Thursday.
A possible 2024 presidential contender, Ms. Noem also slapped down allegations that she was having an affair with Mr. Lewandowski as “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,” she said on Twitter this week.
Mr. Lewandowski has been a lightning rod for controversy since Mr. Trump plucked the fast-talking, conservative activist out of New Hampshire to run his presidential campaign in 2016.
Hei became one of the most high-profile members of Mr. Trump‘s inner circle. He parlayed that experience into a book deal and became a coveted operative in GOP circles, namely among those looking to tap into the Trump brand.
Mr. Lewandowski led the MAGA Action political action committee.
But things came crashing down around him this week after Politico reported that a Trump donor had accused him of making unwanted sexual advances toward her at a Las Vegas charity event last weekend.
Trashelle Odom, the wife of Idaho construction executive John Odom, accused Mr. Lewandowski of inappropriately touching her and said he “stalked” her throughout the evening.
She told Politico that Mr. Lewandowski “repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful.”
Four people who witnessed the behavior firsthand corroborated her story, according to the report.
Through her attorney, Mrs. Odom said she was “fearful for my physical safety.”
Mrs. Odom said Mr. Lewandowski boasted that Mr. Trump will not endorse candidates unless he approves of it and claimed he could make-or-break political careers.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said Mr. Lewandowski “will no longer be associated with Trump World.”
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is taking over MAGA Action. Mr. Budowich in a Twitter post described Ms. Bondi as “very talented and honorable” and someone the organization has “complete faith and confidence” in running MAGA Action.
“Corey Lewandowski will be going on to other endeavors, and we very much want to thank him for his service,” Mr. Budowich said.
On the 2016 campaign trail, Mr. Lewandowski coined the phrase “Let Trump be Trump” and went on to write a behind-the-scenes account of the rise of the real estate magnate and reality TV star to the presidency.
Mr. Lewandowski is no stranger to controversy.
He was charged with misdemeanor battery after he was accused of grabbing a reporter as she approached Mr. Trump at a campaign stop in Florida.
The charge was later dropped.
Mr. Lewandowski was eventually removed from his position a month before Mr. Trump’s coronation as the GOP presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention.
Still, Mr. Lewandowski stayed loyal to Mr. Trump.
He refused to publicly disparage Mr. Trump and was able to stay in his good graces.