Republican front runner Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery for an alleged altercation with a reporter from Breitbart.com.
Although he initially dismissed claims that he had touched reporter Michelle Fields, footage of the incident was released that showed Lewandowski touched Fields’ arm. Lewandowski took to social media, referring to Fields as delusional and emphasized that he hadn’t touched her. Meanwhile, Trump also backed his campaign manager, saying that the incident was “made up.”
“Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened,” Trump said. On Tuesday, the front runner defended his campaign manager in a press conference on his plane, saying, “I think it’s a very very sad day in this country when a man can be destroyed over something like that.” (The video that shows the moment Lewandowski Fields’ arm can be viewed here.)
As reported by The Guardian, the police report said, “Lewandowski grabbed Fields’s left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back.” The investigating officer said that Fields’ hand “appeared to show a grabbing-type injury.”
On the other hand, Trump spoke about the bruises on Fields’ arm, questioning “how do you know those bruises weren’t there before? I’m not a lawyer.” The business mogul also added, “But, she said she had a bruise on her arm. I mean to me, to get squeezed, don’t you think she would have yelled out and screamed? Take a look at her facial expression, her facial expression doesn’t change. You say there are bruises on her arm? How did they get there? Who put them there?”
Fields told her side of the story in a post on Brietbart.com. “Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards,” she wrote. “Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.”
According to political strategist Ryan Williams, who has previously worked with Lewandowski in New Hampshire, the 41 year old is the kind of person that Trump has high value for. Williams added that Lewandowski “mirrors Trump’s persona.”
Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said that Lewandowski would continue serving his role as campaign manager even if he is found guilty of the charge brought against him. Pierson also added that, following the incident, campaigns “should begin to change the rules of the type of access the press gets from here on.”