Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski spoke in favor of T-Mobile and Sprint's proposed merger earlier this week, claiming the tie-up would benefit a large number of Americans, particularly consumers in rural areas of the United States where wireless network coverage is still an issue. The 44-year-old also asserted that the consolidation would create new jobs and hence spur economic growth, arguing such a turn of events would help the U.S. continue competing with China in the global telecommunications segment.
While speaking at a Wednesday event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Mr. Lewandowski also denied lobbying on behalf of T-Mobile and Sprint with the federal government, stating that consulting is where he draws the line with big business collaborations. T-Mobile confirmed the former Trump aide has been hired to consult on its efforts to merge with Sprint in late May. Mr. Lewandowski refused to speculate about the outcome of the proposed tie-up, revealing that he never spoke with the Department of Justice or anyone else from the government on the matter. Last year, the political consultant denied having a relationship with Turnberry Solutions LLC that previously did lobbying work for T-Mobile, claiming the only link between the two is that they share office space. Several months later, Turnberry co-founder Jason Osborne referred to Mr. Lewandowski as an "unpaid strategic adviser" and a "friend." T-Mobile paid $170,000 to Turnberry over the last ten months, according to the company's own disclosure.
The third- and fourth-largest wireless carrier in the country are still hoping to have their tie-up approved in the first half of 2019. The duo is arguing that their combined operations will create a third powerhouse in the emerging 5G field, though both previously promised to be competitive on the 5G front even before the consolidation was agreed. The all-stock deal valued at some $26.5 billion would grant T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom a controlling stake in the combined entity.