Corey Lewandowski Earns CNN Paycheck by Reigniting Obama Birther Controversy

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Someone quoted the Beyoncé lyric “boy bye” during a CNN panel, and that’s not why it was crazy. Birther allegations against President Obama were just about the only thing Donald Trump carefully avoided during his campaign, but former Trump campaign manager turned paid CNN contributor Corey Lewandowski revived the conspiracy theory on Tuesday night by suggesting that Obama did not release his Harvard transcripts because they may reveal that he wasn’t born in the U.S. When Don Lemon asked why he would even bring that up, Lewandowski explained:

Look, the only reason it’s germane is because [commentator Angela Rye] brought the issue up, and said Donald Trump raised the issue of his Harvard transcripts. And I just simply said, ‘Have those transcripts ever been released?’ And the question was, ‘Did he get in as a U.S. citizen, or was he brought in to Harvard University as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?’ I don’t know the answer!

In true Trumpian fashion, Lewandowski went on to claim that his statement had no racial implications, and conceded that the president was born in Hawaii.

The incident came hours after a Trump spokesperson claimed in a CNN interview that Obama is partly to blame for U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan’s death in 2004, and CNN president Jeff Zucker defended the network’s decision to hire Lewandowski. “The reason we hired Corey is that now that we are in the general election, I think it’s really important to have voices on CNN who are supportive of the Republican nominee,” Zucker told Variety. “It’s hard to find a lot of those. Our competitors tried to hire him too.”

You know, it’s so hard to find commentators who will promote debunked theories about the president’s citizenship these days.