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Corey Lewandowski: If Paul Manafort, Roger Stone colluded to influence 2016 election, 'I hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives'

092017 KZ Corey Lewandowski Russia pic
"I hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives. It's very simple." (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Tuesday that if Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, or anyone else within the campaign colluded to influence the 2016 election, he hopes they "go to jail for the rest of their lives."

Lewandowski was responding to reports that Manafort, who became campaign manager after Lewandowski was fired, was wiretapped as part of a federal investigation into Manafort's dealing with Ukraine. Reports say the surveillance, obtained through a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was in effect at a time when Manafort was in communication with President Trump.

"I think if anybody, and I've said this, if Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, or Rick Gates or Carter Page, or anybody else attempted to influence the outcome of the U.S. election through any means that's inappropriate — through collusion, coordination, or cooperation — I hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives. It's very simple. Our election process is too serious, our democracy is too important to allow people to try and try and have influence from the outside for their own gain," Lewandowski said during an event at George Washington University.

Lewandowski also defended Trump from any allegations of him having ties to Russia to get elected.

"I had the privilege to sit next to Donald Trump 18 hours a day, seven days a week for 18 months, from January 2015 until I left the campaign on June 20th in 2016," Lewandowski said. "And when I say 18 hours a day sitting next to him, I truly mean on an airplane flying or being next to him and listening to every phone call, within reason, that he had made over that period of time. And never ever ever did I hear him say, utter, insinuate anything to do with Russia. He never instructed me or anybody in my immediate presence to ever be involved with Russia, never mentioned Russia collusion, coordination, cooperation, or anything of that nature ever."

Lewandowski also criticized Republican lawmakers for passing little significant legislation since the new term began, and called it "essential" to get healthcare reform passed for the party to succeed in the 2018 midterm elections.

"I love Republicans, I've been a Republican my whole life – what I don't understand is the first time in our lifetimes, for all intents and purposes, we have not really proved to the American people that the Republican party is the party that's going to accomplish things," he said.