LONDON ― Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski credited FBI Director James Comey with giving Trump a “spring in his step” that helped him defeat Hillary Clinton in last week’s presidential election.
Speaking at the Oxford Union during a trip to the U.K. Wednesday evening, Lewandowski told Americans protesting the election result that they ought to do so “respectfully” and accept that Clinton lost.
“With 11 days to go in this election cycle, something amazing happened. The FBI director, James Comey, came out on a Friday and said they may be reopening the investigation into ‘crooked’ Hillary Clinton’s emails,” Lewandowski said.
“What that did,” he went on, “was remind people that there are two different rules in Washington ― those of the elites, for the privileged, and those for everybody else.”
Comey’s unprecedented move was criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike. Less than two weeks before Election Day, Comey announced the FBI was investigating new emails that could be relevant to the question of whether Clinton mishandled classified information by using a private server when she was secretary of state.
His letter was vague, creating confusion and renewed public suspicion of Clinton, who had already been cleared of wrongdoing. Comey’s letter also flew in the face of long-standing convention that the FBI and the Justice Department not give the appearance of trying to influence an election.
On Nov. 6, two days before the election, Comey announced that nothing in the newly discovered emails changed his conclusion that Clinton should face no charges.
The Clinton campaign has indicated that it believes Comey contributed to Trump’s win.