The Blues were in the market for attacking talent last summer and identified Polish frontman Lewandowski as a top target - as he prepared to enter the final year of his contract.
Jose Mourinho was, however, unable to get his man and responded by blocking Dortmund's efforts to land De Bruyne.
The Belgium international was able to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge in January, but only after enduring a difficult first half to the season in England.
De Bruyne, who enjoyed a productive loan spell at Werder Bremen in 2012/13, is now back in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, but admits he could have been at Dortmund had things worked out differently.
"Mourinho said no," the 22-year-old winger told Bild.
Asked whether Chelsea missing out on Lewandowski had played a part in the breakdown of transfer talks, De Bruyne added: "That's what they told me and also my advisor.
"But that is professional football.
"Where there is a lot of money changing hands, there is also a lot of politics."
Lewandowski has now agreed a switch to Bayern Munich at the end of the season as a free agent and Dortmund's chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke claims the club could do little to influence his future once he had decided to run down his contract.
He said: "We really had no impact over Robert's decision."