Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE's fired campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, in an interview Monday denied he is a "hothead" who mistreated staff, saying his outbursts were part of his push for perfection.

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"I think I'm a very intense person and my expectation is perfection, because I think that's what Mr. Trump deserves," Lewandowski told CNN's Dana Bash.

"Leadership starts at the top, and I see what he's put into the campaign and when I see someone who I don't think is working as hard as the person who's funding the campaign ... yeah, that bothers me."

In a near half-hour interview with Bash, Lewandowski defended himself against charges that he had failed to build an adequate campaign structure and that he was a yes man who fed Trump's worst instincts, such as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's attacks on a federal judge for his "Mexican heritage."

Lewandowski was unfailing loyal to Trump during the CNN interview, saying there are no hard feelings and insisting that his last conversation with the billionaire was a pleasant one.

Asked whether Trump called him Monday morning to say "you're fired," Lewandowski replied, "I had a nice conversation with Mr. Trump."

Lewandowski also denied there was any tension between himself and Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, or her husband, Jared Kushner. There have been reports that both were instrumental in pushing Trump to fire Lewandowski.  

Lewandowski denied reports that he tried to plant negative stories about Kushner, adding that he had a close working relationship with both him and Trump's family.

"I said to [Trump], it's been an honor and a privilege to be part of this, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart," Lewandowski said of his final conversation with Trump.