When Donald Trump glided down the golden escalator in June 2015 to announce he was running for president, little did he know that he was about to become the most hunted political figure in recent history.
He soon discovered, however, that that escalator ride delivered him right into the waiting maw of the establishment beast. That monster has many tentacles: The Democratic and Republican establishments, far left, the deep and bureaucratic states, the media and the international “community.” From the moment Mr. Trump emerged as a serious threat to their power and control, they went to work to discredit, delegitimize and destroy him via a vast, sophisticated network of lies centered on non-existent crimes related to equally non-existent Russian “collusion.”
The ongoing effort to undermine and remove a duly elected president is a rolling deep state coup d’etat (with an assist from the media), making it the most dangerous scandal in American history.
Corey Lewandowski was present at the creation of the Trump candidacy, serving as his first campaign manager. David Bossie served later as deputy campaign manager and as deputy executive director of the transition. Both are among Mr. Trump’s closest and most trusted advisers. They’ve just published an inside account of how these sinister forces are waging a multi-front war against the president, “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State is Undermining the Presidency.”
“When we started, we had no understanding that the entire weight of the federal government was about to be mobilized against us,” Messrs. Lewandowski and Bossie tell me in a wide-ranging interview.
“From the start,” Mr. Lewandowski says, “the media diminished Trump and the campaign. Then once he became the de facto nominee, the Republican National Committee refused to give us the kind of control and support they’d given other presumptive nominees. And once the professional consultant class began entering the campaign, we started to see just how adverse they were to Trump. We were fighting ourselves.”
We now know that there were three phases to this war on Mr. Trump: During the campaign, internal and external forces began to set him up on the Russian collusion lie; during the transition, those forces began to panic that their own law-breaking might be exposed; and during Mr. Trump’s presidency, as they’ve tried relentlessly to bury him, many of his aides and his successful agenda.
“This is a vast left-wing conspiracy,” Mr. Bossie says, “that began with Crossfire Hurricane, the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the list goes on. But [former FBI Director James] Comey was at the top of the food chain, and has a lot to answer for. He coordinated it and enforced two sets of rules, one for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, another for Trump and the rest of us.
“Comey went from being the ‘last Boy Scout’ to someone under investigation,” says Mr. Bossie. “He’s a bad hombre.”
Mr. Lewandowki agrees that Mr. Comey has been the most dangerous villain in the anti-Trump conspiracy but adds that the president’s “biggest enemy still in the government is Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS and who took the phony dossier to Strzok at the FBI, setting off the whole chain of events. And he’s still in there.”
When asked which insider turncoat shocked them the most, Mr. Lewandowski doesn’t hesitate: “Michael Cohen,” he replied, referring to Mr. Trump’s former lawyer. “He pretended to be loyal and then made up stories. [Former Chief Economic Adviser] Gary Cohn and [former Staff Secretary] Rob Porter: They did everything they could to subvert the will of the president from the inside, as did others.”
With Democrats set to assume control of the House of Representatives, Messrs. Bossie and Lewandowski warn of their inevitable investigative frenzy. “The White House still doesn’t understand what it’s up against,” says Mr. Lewandowski. “The White House Counsel’s office needs about 35 more lawyers with killer instincts. They need a Clinton-esque war room.”
And when asked about a new incoming attorney general, Mr. Lewandowski replies, “I hope whomever gets the job will apply equal justice under the law to all of the illegality: Unmasking, Hillary’s emails, the leaking of classified documents, Comey lying to Congress, [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe committing perjury multiple times. It would be a disservice if those investigations don’t go forward.”
As for the 2020 campaign, Mr. Lewandowski says Mr. Trump is “155 percent” running for re-election, and this time, he’ll have a robust record of promises kept, from delivering jobs and a thriving economy to a stronger military and international position.
Asked to predict whom the Democrats might nominate, Mr. Lewandowski responds emphatically: “Michael Bloomberg. He’s leftist enough to get a pass from the press, rich enough to self-fund, he’s been ingratiating himself in places like Iowa, he ran the biggest city in the country, and he’s an outsider and businessman, like the president, which will be an advantage.”
Will Mrs. Clinton run again?
Mr. Lewandowski cracks, “Only if God has a heart.”
Mr. Trump famously crushed his 2016 opponents with pointed, shoe-fits nicknames, from “Low Energy Jeb” to “Crooked Hillary.” Does he have nicknames ready for the dozens of Democrats who think they can take him on?
“Yes,” Mr. Lewandowski says, smiling.
Mr. Trump is at his best — and most underestimated — when battling his strident political enemies.
Cocky potential 2020 candidates: You’ve been warned.
• Monica Crowley is a columnist for The Washington Times.