In a story broken here at The Lid, Donald Trump and his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski falsely portrayed Cheri Jacobus as a “desperate job seeker who trashed the Republican presidential candidate in the media after she wasn’t hired for a communications director post.”
Now Ms. Jacobus is suing Trump and Lewandowski for defamation in a suit seeking $4 million in damages.
Recent months have seen Trump tweet out insults calling strategist Jacobus “a real dummy” and a “major loser,” incited the Trumpster mob against her” calling her “a whore” and posting graphic photo illustrations of her naked and being raped from behind.
Jacobus’ suit includes Facebook messages from former Trump rep Jim Dornan recruiting her for the PR post in May 2015 messages that were first seen here on The Lid.
In late January Corey Lewandowski was a guest Morning Joe to talk about his bosses withdrawal from the FNC debate the next day. Along with the normal Trump campaign super-sized political bravado, he attacked Cheri Jacobus’ appearance on the Kelly Files the evening before and claimed that she had pitched the Trump Campaign for a job. Lewandowski was lying. Ms. Jacobus wasn’t on the Kelly files the prior evening, and it was the Trump campaign who pitched her to work for the campaign.
This is what the campaign manager said to Joe Scarborough that Wed. morning appearance:
Cheri Jacobus was on [the Kelly Files], wanted to talk about Donald Trump. This is the same person who came to the office on multiple occasions trying to get a job from the trump campaign and when she wasn’t hired she was clearly upset by that. They go out of their way at fox to put left wing liberals on to make their own points because they can’t find conservatives to go it or they find people who want to attack Mr. Trump personal lift I don’t think traditional viewership of Fox which leans more conservative is as concerned about what Michael Moore’s positions are but they choose to put him on to be as derogatory and demeaning as possible to Mr. Trump.
Ms. Jacobus is not a liberal nor did she beg Trump for a job, which became clear after she told the story of her contact with Lewandowski and sent as proof screen shots of her Facebook conversations with Jim Dornan.
Dornan, a friend for thirty years asked if she’d be interested in being the communications director for the Trump campaign committee. Jacobus told him joining a campaign was a bit premature. She hadn’t decided which candidate she preferred. And that was one of the reasons she was reluctant to join any Presidential committee full time.
Dornan responded with “can we at least talk?” And because she hadn’t seen her friend Jim Dornan in a while, she agreed to the lunch. But in her mind she felt that Trump was a political buffoon, and worried that a job with the Trump campaign would be a career killer.
The day of the lunch it was raining and as anyone who has ever tried to get a cab in Manhattan on a rainy day knows, it’s an almost impossible task. Jacobus called her friend Jim on the way to lunch to explain she’d be a bit tardy to lunch (which was at Trump Tower). During that call Dornan asked if she would mind if Corey Lewandowski joined them for lunch. That’s when she realized the lunch would be more of a “formal” interview. And that lunch played out like a get to know you type interview lunch.
After the lunch Jacobus was still on the reluctant side, she felt it was a big job but it was a very emotional environment. After a while she convinced herself to have an open mind. Jacobus stalled a few weeks, but eventually followed up with the professional “thank you for the meeting, it was great exploring opportunities” type follow up email. That’s when her old friend called again saying it was time for a follow-up meeting.
It was that second meeting that closed her “open mind.” According to Cheri Jacobus, at that meeting Lewandowski showed himself to be an, “unhinged, unethical, naive, hot-head.”
For example, the campaign manager bloviated how Fox News was going to lead their campaign effort. He pulled out an email supposedly from Roger Ailes to Trump (which someone must have printed out for billionaire because he isn’t an email user). Trump had hand-written a note on the email to the campaign manager, but the real joy (for Trump and Lewandowski anyway) was the words of Roger Ailes who said he would help Trump’s campaign any way he could. That is not an email one shares with a person who has not yet joined the team, besides this was the same man who a year later was attacking Fox News and Megyn Kelly indicating that Ailes wasn’t as in the tank for Trump as Lewandowski claimed. The campaign Manager added that if Cheri Jacobus worked for the Trump campaign, the billionaire could get her a Fox contract, “I almost laughed out loud” she told me, “Bribe much?”
Now while I wasn’t there to confirm or deny that the email Lewandowski showed her was really from Ailes and not just a creation of the campaign manager, IMHO it’s hard to believe that a man who spent two decades building the #1 rated news network would make a commitment like that. Even if he did it is even more doubtful that he would put it in writing.
At the lunch they also talked about a Trump campaign super PAC. According to the law, a campaign is not allowed to coordinate with a candidate’s super PAC. In other words, that particular discussion was another thing the campaign manager should have kept to himself when conversing with an outsider.
As the meeting ended, the campaign manager (who she described to me as a truly disturbing guy who at times screamed during the meeting) walked Cheri Jacobus to the elevator. As the doors were closing, Jacobus told him that she didn’t like yelling at reporters, I’ve yelled at reporters a handful of times in 30 plus years in the business. But as a strategy? no way. Lewandowski liked to yell at reporters as a “strategy,” she told me.
Cheri Jacobus, left that meeting convinced she didn’t want to work for Trump, and her comment as the doors closed disclosed the same to Lewandowski. But nevertheless she still followed the professional courtesy of sending a “thank you for the meeting-type email.”
After talking to Ms. Jacobus, I interviewed Jim Dornan, Ms. Jacobus’ friend who was the first contact from team Trump. I had sent Dornan an email with the Facebook conversations he had with Jacobus about the meetings. She had sent them to me and I asked Dornan to verify their truth.
While he couldn’t get into the specifics of what was said at the lunches, the Ailes claim or the Super PAC conversations etc. (because he signed a non-disclose with the Trump team) Dornan was able confirm as valid the Facebook message conversations. Mr. Dornan told me that the following Facebook conversations were absolutely true. They all occurred in May 2015. The first conversation (May 18th) is the key one which proves that the Trump campaign approached her first.
Important Note: Mr. Dornan confirmed both the screen shot above and the typed version of the May 19th messages below:
May 19- Jim to Cheri: He liked you. I thought it went well
May 19-Cheri to Jim: Thanks for arranging the meeting. I am intrigued and am thinking about what I would need. I was just reading the Des Moines Register piece
May 19-Jim to Cheri: TOTAL AGREEMENT!! Corey [Trump’s campaign Mgr. Corey Lewandowski] wants to sit down with you next week. I just got off the phone with him. Can you get away for 30 minutes or so? I know your parents are in town
The Facebook exchange below took place on June 8th, approximately three weeks after the first meeting. It demonstrated the reason for a second meeting was not because Ms. Jacobus was begging but as you can see by the first line, because Corey Lewandowski wanted to see her.
Trump claims to be the candidate of the “little guy,” but by covering this story and seeing him operate first hand, Trump doesn’t support the little guy, instead he wants to destroy anyone who disagrees with him.
Because of the Trump/Lewandowski vitriol Ms. Jacobus a well-known political consultant, has not only faced emotional distress, and threats of physical violence, but her bookings and requests for media appearances have dried up.
A copy of Ms. Jacobus’ suit filed this morning is embedded below: