Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager turned political commentator, has been in hot water over his alleged assault of singer and Trump supporter Joy Villa at a party celebrating the one-year anniversary of the President’s election last month.
So it came as a surprise when Lewandowski refused to deny the charges during an appearance on the Fox Business Network today. Lewandowski was speaking with Fox Business host Charles Payne, who, like many Fox News anchors, has faced his own allegations of sexual harassment, when Payne asked about the incident with Villa.
Villa told Politico last week that the former Campaign Manager assaulted her during a photo op at the party they both attended.
“I’m wearing this silver suit and stretchy pants, and after the photo, he smacks my ass really hard,” Villa said. “It was completely demeaning and shocking.”
In the moment, Villa said, she confronted him. “I said, ‘Watch it.’ Half-joking, I said, ‘I can report you for sexual harassment.’”
Lewandowski’s response, she said, was almost as shocking as the original slap.
“He said, ‘Go ahead, I work in the private sector,’” Villa recalled. “Then he smacks my ass again.”
When Payne asked for Lewandowski’s comments on Villa’s account of the story, he replied like a seasoned politician, talking loud, but saying nothing.
Well, Charles, as someone who’s been through this, you understand that there is a due process,” said Lewandowski. “And there is a process which they will go through to determine a person’s innocence, which I think you’ve been through and you understand it and you respect it.”
Payne responded to Lewandowski’s evasive answer by assuming that Villa was making false accusations, asking about the singer, “What would motivate her?” and noting that she has claimed to have at least two witnesses who saw what had happened.
Lewandowski remained evasive.
“That’s a question for her,” he said. “I’m not here to speak for Joy. What I am here to do is to speak for me. And what I am going to do is to let the process play forward just as you did with your accusers of sexual harassment in your own case.”
Trump’s former political operative certainly knows how to shut down a line of questioning to move the conversation along to promoting his book, but his painfully obvious attempts at avoiding a denial of the charges are fairly telling in and of themselves. Lewandowski is bound to be especially careful in what he says publically since Villa filed formal charges against him when he failed to respond or apologize to her after news of the assault went public.
You can watch the exchange for yourself in the clip below: