I wish it was different…

You look at Trump’s “best people”, the Trump uber alles crew, and it’s hard to avoid the thought that “best” has a specific, unpalatable meaning in TrumpSpeak. 

When Trump hired the pugnacious Corey “I have no obligation not to lie to the lying media” Lewandowski as his original campaign manager in January 2015:

Trump’s political staff consisted of three people: his lawyer Michael D. Cohen, veteran operative Roger Stone, and aide Sam Nunberg.[31] In April 2016, another veteran GOP operative, Paul Manafort, was hired; the following month Manafort was named “campaign chairman.”[32] Nunberg was fired in early August 2015;[33] he believes that it was Lewandowski and campaign press secretary Hope Hicks who asked Trump for his ouster.[34] Stone left the campaign a week later.[35]

Lewandowski’s motto as Trump’s campaign manager was “Let Trump be Trump”; those words appeared on his office white board.[36] Trump said of Lewandowski, “He leaves me alone, but he knows when to make his presence felt.”[20]

Of the original five members of the Trump campaign, three have since become convicted felons, victims, we are reminded by other “best” people, of a totally unfair Democratic witch hunt and presumably totally illegitimate trials by so-called judges.  

Manafort and Stone, one in prison, the other awaiting sentencing, were bold pioneering lobbyists, partners in the political consulting firm Black, Manafort and Stone [1], who made millions with their access to presidents, senators and congressmen they’d helped to elect.  The felonious partners had worked on Ronald Reagan’s winning presidential campaign and immediately became lobbyists to the lobbyists, brokering unprecedented access for their fellow corporate influence peddlers.  

After his ouster from the Trump campaign in June 2016, and Trump’s unexpected, brilliantly engineered 78,000 vote Electoral College victory, Lewandowski followed in Manafort/Stone’s lucrative footsteps:

On December 21, 2016, Lewandowski and [71] Barry Bennett, a “former Trump senior adviser”, whom Lewandowski had known for ten years,[72] co-founded as equal partners a political consulting firm called Avenue Strategies.[73] They were joined by other Trump presidential campaign veterans.[73] Bennett, Mike Rubino, Jason Osborne, and most of Lewandowski’s associates at Avenue Strategies filed lobbying registrations.[71]

Mainly because of Lewandowski, Avenue Strategies soon became one of “the highest-profile government-affairs outfits in Washington”.[73] Avenue Strategies’ office “overlooks the White House”, and Lewandowski has “relatively unimpeded access” to President Trump either by phone or in person at the White House.[71] Access to President Trump can be “highly lucrative” — “relatively few established K Street powerhouses have ties to the new president”.[73]

In February 2017, Avenue Strategies “quietly agreed” to lobby for Citgo Petroleum Corporation (Citgo). In April they signed a $25,000 a month contract as tensions mounted between the United States, Venezuela, and Russia.[74] Citgo is headquartered in Houston, Texas, but is owned by the government of Venezuela. Citgo took out a loan from Russian state-owned oil giant, Rosneft in December 2016 that it has been unable to pay. It is under threat of a takeover by Rosneft.[71] By early May the legally required paperwork had not been filed revealing the contract to the U.S. Government through the Senate Office of Public Records.[74]

The governor of debt-ridden Puerto Rico hired Avenue Strategies to lobby Congress for funding.[73]

Avenue Strategies also “operates a fledgling super PAC to help Trump win re-election”.[72]



The firm has represented, and lobbied the US Congress on behalf of, numerous foreign governments and heads of state from both representative democracies and unelected dictatorships including Mohamed Siad Barre of Somalia, dictator Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines,[4][5] dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire,[6] andJonas Savimbi of Angola. According to “The Torturer’s Lobby”, a report published by The Center for Public Integrity, the firm received $3.3 million in the early 1990’s for their work with dictators.[7]

During the 1988 presidential campaign in the United States, it was disclosed that Black, Manafort retained the island nation of the Bahamas as a client at a time its leadership was being attacked for alleged ties to drug traffickers. BMSK officials insisted that they intended only to help the Bahamas obtain more United States aid for efforts to curb drug smugglers.[1]

Domestically the firm represented Bethlehem Steel and Tobacco Institute, helped elect Senators Phil Gramm,Jesse Helms, Charles McCurdy Mathias Jr., Arlen Specter, Paula Hawkins and David F. Durenberger—and worked on legislation that benefitted the firm’s clients.[citation needed]

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