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Lewandowski on reported physical altercation with Kelly: 'John and I had a very candid discussion'

Lewandowski on reported physical altercation with Kelly: 'John and I had a very candid discussion'
© Hill.TV

Former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey LewandowskiTrump's reemergence poses risks for GOP, media Trump likely to form new super PAC Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief ousts hundreds from advisory panels | Defense pick discusses Trump transition hurdles | Aircraft carrier returning home after 10-month deployment MORE on Sunday downplayed a reported physical altercation between himself and White House Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.

Lewandowski appeared on "Fox News Sunday" to promote his new book, and was asked about a New York Times report from October that the Secret Service had to separate the two men during an argument earlier in the year.

"The Secret Service didn’t break anything up," Lewandowski said. "John and I had a very candid discussion, as he probably has many times with the president."

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"Did he grab you?" anchor Chris Wallace asked.

"Look, I don’t want to get into what John may or may not have done, but what I do think is he understands that my position is to support the president and the president’s agenda all the time," Lewandowski responded.

The Times, citing a half-dozen people familiar with the altercation, reported last month that Kelly and Lewandowski clashed in the West Wing on Feb. 21. The confrontation reportedly grew so heated that Kelly grabbed the former campaign manager "by the collar and tried to have him ejected from the West Wing."

The two men were inside the Oval Office that day with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE, and Kelly reportedly complained to the president that Lewandowski was making money off Trump through a contract with a super PAC supporting Trump's reelection, according to the Times. 

Lewandowski, who has not worked in the White House but maintains a close relationship with it, is among the former Trump advisers and White House staffers who have spoken critically of Kelly.

Kelly was brought onto the job in the summer of 2017 to instill order in a chaotic West Wing, and has since reportedly clashed with a number of staffers. He and national security adviser John Bolton reportedly got into a profanity-laced argument over immigration last month.

His potential ouster has been the subject of numerous reports in recent months, though Trump has publicly praised his chief of staff.