South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has severed ties with political strategist Corey Lewandowski, following allegations reported by POLITICO that Lewandowski made unwanted sexual advances toward a woman at a recent fundraising event.
Lewandowski had been a top adviser to Noem and had traveled the country with her in recent months, introducing her to major Republican Party donors and power-brokers. Noem has emerged as a rising star in the GOP and is widely considered a potential candidate for president in 2024.
“Corey was always a volunteer, never paid a dime (campaign or official). He will not be advising the Governor in regard to the campaign or official office,” said Ian Fury, a Noem spokesman.
Another Republican politician, Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, also cut ties with Lewandowski Thursday morning.
“I have known Corey Lewandowski since 2015 when I was an early and steadfast supporter of Donald J. Trump for President,” Herbster, a wealthy agricultural executive, said in a statement. “Most recently, Corey has been one of my senior campaign advisors as I run for governor of the state of Nebraska. I’ve asked Corey to step back from this role. Corey and his family will remain in my prayers.”
The moves come after Lewandowski was taken off his assignment leading former President Donald Trump's super PAC late Wednesday night. POLITICO reported earlier Wednesday that Republican donor Trashelle Odom alleged Lewandowski had touched her repeatedly, including on her leg and buttocks, made inappropriate comments and followed her during a charity event in Las Vegas.
"He repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful," Odom said in a statement Wednesday.
Lewandowski’s advisory services had become widely sought-after among Republican candidates, who saw him as a gateway to Trump and a means of appealing to the former president’s supporters. Many candidates — including Herbster — have openly promoted Lewandowski’s role on their campaigns.
Noem and Herbster, a major Trump donor, were among the attendees at the Las Vegas dinner where Lewandowski was accused of engaging in the unwanted behavior.
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