GOP Donor Wants Six-Figure Donation Back After Campaign Hires Corey Lewandowski

John Odom says he wants his $100,000 donation to Jeff Landry’s campaign returned now that they've hired Lewandowski, who assaulted Odom’s then-wife in 2021.

GOP Donor Wants Six-Figure Donation Back After Campaign Hires Corey Lewandowski
Photo:David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire (Getty Images)

A GOP megadonor wants his big donation returned after he found out the campaign for Jeff Landry, the Louisiana gubernatorial frontrunner, hired Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former 2016 campaign manager who’s faced allegations of sexual misconduct. Is the donor, construction company executive John Odom, a Never Trumper? No. Lewandowski is accused of assaulting Odom’s then-wife, Trashelle Odom, at a charity dinner in 2021.

Last week, the Louisiana Illuminator reported that Landry’s campaign hired Lewandowski as a political adviser, and has paid him $100,000 along with reimbursing him $4,332 in travel expenses since he was hired in April. Now, Odom—who, according to Politico, has dined with Landry and attended his “Alligator Hunt” fundraisers—is telling voters “of Louisiana to reject Landry at the polls.” He told the outlet that he’s “deeply disappointed and disgusted by Jeff Landry’s decision to hire Corey Lewandowski” and wants his $100,000 donation returned “immediately.”

Trashelle said Lewandowski “stalked” her during a September 2021 charity dinner in Las Vegas, repeatedly touched her leg and butt, and made sexually graphic remarks to her. In the week after the dinner, she told Politico:

“On the evening of September 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada, I attended a dinner to support a charity and spend time with wonderful friends. He repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful.
“I am coming forward because he needs to be held accountable. I am blessed to have a loving husband and family behind me. I want other women to know that you can be heard, too, and together we can stop terrible things like this from happening.”

She also accused Lewandowksi of throwing his drink at her and calling her stupid. In September 2022, he was charged with a misdemeanor and took a plea deal from Las Vegas prosecutors. Under his agreement, he didn’t have to admit guilt as long as he paid a $1,000 fine, completed 50 hours of community service, and attended eight hours of “impulse control counseling,” according to Politico.

In contrast to Odom’s reaction to Lewandowski’s hiring, Trashelle says that half of the donation is hers and she wants Landry to keep it. “Jeff Landry is not just my friend but I believe he has been the strongest Attorney General in America,” Trashelle said in the statement to Politico. “He has protected children and fought for our individual rights. Jeff truly has my full and complete support for governor of the state of Louisiana.”

Landry’s campaign said they “appreciate” all donors, but didn’t say if they would be returning the money.

Lewandowski tried to deflect by bringing up Odom’s decade-old guilty plea in three separate cases for white-collar crimes. “I won’t dignify Mr. Odom with a response,” he told the outlet, but “I will allow the words of Suzanne Craig, chief criminal deputy prosecutor to speak for itself.” (Craig called him a “charismatic con artist.”)

I assume because he couldn’t let Lewandowski have the last word, Odom told Politico: “Funny. I wasn’t such a bad guy when Landry accepted my $100,000 contribution.”

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