Donald Trump's Former Campaign Manager Recalls 'Nobody' Thinking This Day Would Come

'Nobody' Predicted This Day: Trump's Ex-Campaign Chief

ByMORGAN WINSOR
January 20, 2017, 9:33 AM

— -- Donald Trump's former campaign manager never thought this day would come.

Hours before Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, Corey Lewandowski's answer was straightforward when asked on ABC News' "Good Morning America" today whether he thought the real estate mogul would get elected.

"No, nobody did," Lewandowski said. "And I think Donald Trump would tell you the same thing."

Lewandowski had been by Trump's side since the New York City developer launched his presidential campaign in June 2015. He came on board as Trump's first campaign manager and quickly became a controversial figure during his time in the position.

In March 2016, Lewandowski was charged with simple battery after a video showed his grabbing the arm of then-Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. State officials declined to prosecute Lewandowski. The Trump campaign at the time said it fully believed in Lewandowski's innocence.

Lewandowski, 43, was cut loose from Trump's campaign in June 2016. A senior Trump aide told ABC News at the time that Lewandowski's firing "was a long time coming" and that the campaign "need[ed] to get everyone on the same page."

The ex-campaign manager has since opened a lobbying firm near the White House.

During this morning's interview with "GMA," Lewandowski recalled the early days of Trump's campaign. Lewandowski said neither he nor Trump believed the presidential bid would be a success, but he said the campaign team realized how the Republican nominee was "giving hope" to many Americans.

"To say that we're going to have a candidate who had never run for office assume the presidency of the United States two years later, I don't think he believed it. I don't think I believed it," Lewandowski said.

"But what we saw was the American people wanted fundamental and wholesale change. When he started to go out and talk to the American people and listened to what their concerns were, we knew there was something very, very special going on.

"He's the messenger of what the American people want and he's now going to bring that to Washington," Lewandowski added.

He said the president-elect is as prepared as anyone can be to take the nation's highest elected office and understands the responsibility that comes with the role.

"I think Mr. Trump understands the severity of the position he's about to assume today and, I don't care who it is, no one can be truly prepared to step inside the Oval Office until you've done that job," he said. "He also understands that ... we have to do better for our country, and that's what he wants to do and he understands the power that this position brings to help the country get there."

ABC News' Nicole Pelletiere, John Santucci and Candace Smith contributed to this report.

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