Lewandowski: "The word 'Russia' never came up" while I was Trump campaign chief

Last Updated Dec 8, 2017 6:21 AM EST

President Trump's first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, denies the campaign had any ties whatsoever to Russia under his watch during the 2016 U.S. presidential election season.

"Everyone says, 'Well, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia,'" he noted on the latest episode of "The Takeout" podcast. "I sat next to candidate Trump for 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for 18 months. The word 'Russia' never came up."

Listen to this episode on Stitcher

Lewandowski, alongside David Bossie, who once served as Mr. Trump's deputy campaign manager, joined CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett and Political Director Steve Chaggaris for breakfast at Bistro Bis in Washington, D.C. Their new book, "Let Trump be Trump," published Tuesday by Hachette Book Group, takes an in-depth look from behind the scenes of the unprecedented campaign.

"Collusion, cooperation, coordination - never came up," Lewandowski added. "But let me be clear. And this is very important. If anybody from the Trump campaign or anybody else in this country cooperated, colluded with, coordinated with Russia to affect the outcome of the US election system, they should go to jail for the rest of their lives."

When asked if either has been, or expected to be, interviewed by the special counsel as part of their investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election, Bossie replied with a firm, "nope."

Lewandowski, on the other hand, said while he has not yet sat down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller's team, he would be open to it.

"I relish the opportunity to go and tell the truth and I'll be happy to do that. And I have gone, and this has been very public went and spoke to the senate committee and said I'll  be happy to come back anytime.  Haven't talked to anybody else. But I'll be happy to go tell anybody anything because that's what I do. I tell the truth."

For more from Major and Steve's conversation with Corey Lewandowski and Dave Bossie, including the 2015 moment that caused Lewandowski to think the campaign was ruined, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning.

Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm ET/PT. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit

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