Governor Slams 'Disgusting Lie' She Was Involved with Trump Aide as Separate Woman Accuses Him of Harassment
Brandon Bell/Getty; David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire Gov. Kristi Noem (left), Corey Lewandowski
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is dismissing claims of an affair with Republican operative Corey Lewandowski as "total garbage," tweeting to dispute a new article on a conservative website just hours after Lewandowski was accused of sexual harassment.
"These rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie," the 49-year-old Republican governor tweeted on Wednesday.
She was apparently responding to a report on the website American Greatness, which cited unnamed "sources" alleging that she and Lewandowski, a longtime Donald Trump aide, had been having an affair "for months."
"These old, tired attacks on conservative women are based on a falsehood that we can't achieve anything without a man's help," Noem tweeted. "I love [my husband] Bryon. I'm proud of the God-fearing family we've raised together. Now I'm getting back to work."
Lewandowski was advising Noem, but a Noem spokesman stressed that he was unpaid and wouldn't be working with her anymore in the wake of the sexual harassment allegation, which also emerged this week.
"Corey was always a volunteer, never paid a dime (campaign or official)," the spokesman said in a statement sent to PEOPLE. "He will not be advising the Governor in regard to the campaign or official office."
Noem has been married to Bryon Noem since 1992 and the couple have three children. Lewandowski is married to Alison Lewandowski, with whom he shares four kids.
These rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie. These old, tired attacks on conservative women are based on a falsehood that we can't achieve anything without a man's help.
I love Bryon. I'm proud of the God-fearing family we've raised together. Now I'm getting back to work
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 29, 2021
Earlier Wednesday, Politico published the account of a Trump donor who said Lewandowski had sexually harassed her earlier this month.
Lewandowski previously served as Donald Trump's campaign manager and went on to lead MAGA Action, a pro-Trump super PAC.
In a statement to Politico, Trashelle Odom said that Lewandowski "repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful" throughout a charity event held Sept. 26 in Las Vegas.
An attorney for Odom said that Lewandowski followed her out of the room where the event was held, made remarks about her body and later threw his drink at her and "called her stupid."
In response, an attorney for Lewandowski said in a statement to PEOPLE: "Accusations and rumors appear to be morphing by the minute and we will not dignify them with a further response."
In its report, Politico noted that Gov. Noem was also in attendance at the Sept. 26 dinner.
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This is not the first time a woman said Lewandowski mistreated her.
In March 2016, during Trump's presidential campaign, Lewandowski was charged with battery by Jupiter, Florida, police, after he allegedly grabbed reporter Michelle Fields as she tried to ask Trump a question.
Lewandowski initially denied ever touching Fields, but security-camera images later showed him roughly pulling her, The New York Times reported at the time, citing a police report.
He ultimately turned himself in on the misdemeanor charge but was quickly released and the charge was dropped, with prosecutors reportedly saying they didn't feel they were in a strong enough position to proceed.
Trump initially stood by Lewandowski, but fired him shortly thereafter, in June 2016. Still, as with many other aides, he remained in the Trump orbit — going on to lead the the former president's post-White House political group. Until this week.
Hours after the allegations were published, a spokesman for Trump wrote on Twitter that that Lewandowski "will no longer be associated with Trump World" and had been replaced at MAGA Action by Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida.