Despite controversy surrounding a meeting with African-American pastors and religious leaders on Monday, Donald Trump has already sealed endorsements from “dozens” of them, his campaign manager said.
During an interview Tuesday with John Heilemann on Bloomberg's With All Due Respect, Corey Lewandowski quoted “in excess of multiple dozens of endorsements” from the talks.
“‘Multiple dozens’ means what? 24? 36?” Heilemann asked.
“More than that is my guess,” Lewandowski answered.
He said he was not sure when exactly the list of pastors throwing their support behind Trump would be released, saying he is working with them to secure a list and date.
Trump came under fire after the campaign announced a coalition of 100 African-American pastors and religious leaders would come to Trump Tower in New York on Monday to endorse the GOP front-runner. In the days before the meeting, some invitees took to Twitter and other outlets to stress their attendance was not meant as an endorsement, but was a chance to hear where Trump stood on minority issues. By Sunday, the campaign bowed to the outcry, canceling the endorsement announcement while continuing with plans for a meeting between the candidate and the coalition.
“It was a miscommunication between the leadership of the coalition and the campaign,” Lewandowski said. “What we saw was an amazing meeting yesterday that took place. Mr. Trump was very pleased with the meeting.”
Lewandowski also served a warning to the Republican Party, two days after Trump refused to rule out an independent run for president during an interview with ABC's This Week. “I will see what happens,” Trump said. “I have to be treated fairly. If I'm treated fairly, I'm fine.”
Asked whether Trump had been treated fairly so far, Lewandowski called out two establishment Republicans in New Hampshire, the state that will host the nation's first presidential primary on Feb. 9, for crossing the line.
Last Monday, former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen formally challenged whether Trump should appear on the primary ballot for president, a move that was quickly rejected. Two days later, the current chair, Jennifer Horn, told the Boston Globe she has doubts Trump will win in the primary.
“That is not fairness in the process,” Lewandowski said. “What we're seeing is that the GOP establishment and the mainstream elite want to make sure that Trump is not the nominee, so they're using every resource possible to keep him off the ballot or to dissuade people form voting for him.”
He added, “That's not fairness. Treat him fairly, and he said he'll be very fair in running.”
See more of the interview on With All Due Respect today at 5 p.m. Eastern on Bloomberg TV and BloombergPolitics.com.