Married Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has had a years-long affair with Donald Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, multiple sources told The Post on Friday.
Although no footage of the two frolicking is known to exist, the couple has been less than discreet about their relationship, and one source remembers them kissing in a hotel bar during the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.
“I remember it being so absurdly brazen and public,” said the person, who recalled Noem and Lewandowski getting “down to business” in the Hyatt Regency Orlando bar with 100 to 200 other people.
“It wasn’t like 2 a.m.,” the source said. “It’s not like we caught them in some seedy bar miles away. It’s a lobby bar where everyone stays, so there are millions of political operatives, journalists and elected officials around. “I remember seeing it with my own eyes and a couple of other people saw it and the nerve was absurd.”
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem (left) has had a years-long affair with Donald Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski (right), multiple sources told The Post on Friday.David Sands/Facebook
“This has been known and open and we’ve all been waiting for it to break out at some point,” the person added.
The link emerged a week after Noem, a 51-year-old mother of three, formally endorsed Trump, 77, for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, sparking speculation that the 45th president would choose her as his running mate. of formula.
“He’s 100% fucking her,” said a second person familiar with the relationship between Noem and Lewandowski, first reported by DailyMail.com.
The source added that they personally witnessed Noem “sitting in her [Lewandowski’s] spin” and “playing butt grab” during an event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in December 2020.
Although no images of the two being playful are known to exist, the couple has been less than discreet about their relationship. Eric Held/Facebook
“The usual things drunks who have affairs do,” the person said of the interaction.
Another person who saw the couple at Mar-a-Lago on the same occasion confirmed: “I saw her on his lap.”
“I thought they were a couple. They were on top of each other,” added this source, who had met Lewandowski before, but who did not know Noem, whom the witness remembered as “so beautiful” and “being poised.”
A fourth source told The Post that the flirtation has been widely known in Republican political circles for “years,” adding that Noem’s husband, Bryon, is said to have moved out of the governor’s mansion in Pierre about two years ago. .
Noem is married to her husband, Bryon, and has three children. Kristi Noem/Facebook
Bryon Noem runs an insurance company of the same name in Bryant, S.D., a couple of hours’ drive from the state capital. Details of his current living conditions are unclear.
A fifth person told The Post that he and his fellow Republicans were “well aware” of the affair and suggested that the story finally appeared in print thanks to “one of his competitors for vice president.”
Both Trump and political insiders have publicly mulled potential running mates for months, and some of the names mentioned include Noem, former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R- of Tennessee), former Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), current Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, and far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
Noem herself was once considered a possible 2024 contender, but opted out of the race, telling Fox News last month that no Republican could win the nomination while Trump was running.
A source told The Post that Noem’s husband is said to have moved out of the governor’s mansion in Pierre about two years ago. Michael Reynolds/EPA/Shutterstock
“Why run if you can’t win?” she asked.
On Sept. 8, Noem announced at a rally in Rapid City that she was endorsing Trump, calling him “the fighter our country needs.”
“You once made America great again, let’s make it again,” Noem said as she introduced the former president.
“I will do everything I can to help you win and save this country.”
Noem welcomes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before speaking at a South Dakota Republican Party rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, September 8, 2023. REUTERS
Lewandowski, 49, was Trump’s first campaign manager in 2016 and is widely credited with engineering his 2016 New Hampshire primary victory, which strengthened the real estate mogul after a loss to Sen. Ted Cruz ( Republican from Texas) in the Iowa caucuses.
However, Lewandowski’s star began to fade after he was accused of mistreating Breitbart journalist Michelle Fields following a Trump press conference in March 2016.
He was charged with one count of simple assault, which was later dropped.
Lewandowski was fired from the Trump campaign three months later after reports of clashes with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Noem was once considered a possible 2024 contender, but opted out of the race, saying no Republican could win the nomination while Trump was running. AFP via Getty Images
However, the Massachusetts native remained close to Trump while a private citizen. According to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation, Trump summoned Lewandowski to the Oval Office on June 19, 2017 and ordered him to tell then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make a public statement criticizing the investigation and ordered Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to future foreign interference in US elections.
Lewandowski arranged a meeting with Sessions, but the AG canceled it due to a last-minute conflict. The following month, Trump again subpoenaed Lewandowski and told him that if Sessions did not agree to meet, Lewandowski should tell Sessions that he had been fired. Lewandowski passed the order to then-White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, who pocketed it and did not give it to Sessions.
The former campaign operative has been married since 2005 to his wife Allison Hardy, but has been accused of numerous affairs and acting inappropriately with high-profile women in Trump’s orbit.
In November 2017, pro-Trump singer Joy Villa said Lewandowski had slapped her on the butt “very hard” at a party. When Villa told her to keep her hands to herself, Lewandowski allegedly told her: “Go ahead, I work in the private sector,” and then hit her on the butt again.
Another source said they personally witnessed Noem “sitting in her [Lewandowski’s] spin” and “playing butt grab” during an event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in March 2020. Josh Sines/Facebook
“It was completely degrading and shocking,” Villa told Politico at the time.
Lewandowski is also said to have had an on-again, off-again relationship with then-White House communications director Hope Hicks.
In 2021, he was removed as chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Action after the wife of a major donor to the former president accused him of inappropriate behavior.
Trashelle Odom told Las Vegas police that Lewandowski asked her for her hotel room number and made inappropriate comments about her genitals. At one point during their conversation, Odom told Lewandowski that she was from a “bad part” of California.
Lewandowski is also said to have had an on-again, off-again relationship with then-White House communications director Hope Hicks.Facebook
“That’s when Lewandowski told me that ‘he was from a bad part of Boston and had [sic] killed people,’” Odom told police. “At first I thought he was joking and I tried to laugh. That’s when Lewandowski went into detail and said something like: “When he was 10 years old, I stabbed someone over and over again, killing him.” He continued and shared that when he was older ‘he stabbed a man in the back of the head and killed him too.’”
Noem also publicly announced that she would cut ties with Lewandowski, whom her office called a “voluntary” adviser. However, DailyMail.com reported that the statement was more appearance than substance.
“She fired him without actually firing him,” a source told the outlet.
“He never left.”
Lewandowski declined to comment on the record for this story.
A spokesperson for Noem referred the Post to a statement given to DailyMail.com, which began: “This is so predictable that you would attack Governor Noem less than a week after she endorsed Donald J. Trump as the 47th president of the United States.” USA”.
“As Governor Noem said during that endorsement speech: ‘Yes, I will be attacked for telling the truth to all of you tonight. Yes, I hope that Joe Biden, these candidates, their political operatives, and the media perpetuate disgusting and hateful misinformation in an attempt to destroy me and my family because of my opinions. It’s nothing new. Honestly, I’m getting used to it.’”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story cited a source who said Noem was seen sitting on Lewandowski’s lap at Mar-a-Lago in March 2020. In fact, the sighting took place in December 2020.