Politics

Police Charge Trump Campaign Manager With Battering Reporter, Release Video Evidence

CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File

Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been charged with battering then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields.

The incident occurred on March 8. Fields alleged Lewandowski forcibly yanked her after she asked Trump a question. Despite an eyewitness account from a Washington Post reporter corroborating her version of events, Lewandowski denied any involvement with the incident whatsoever and called Fields an “attention seeker.”

Trump, for his part, said he thinks Fields made the whole thing up. During a news conference on March 15, Trump held a press conference where called the assembled media “disgusting” while Lewandowski applauded behind him. Trump also praised Lewandowski’s “spirit.”

“He wanted to take down those horrible, profanity-laced signs,” Trump said, speaking of Lewandowski’s actions on March 8.

Authorities, however, don’t buy the version of events put forth by the Trump campaign. Here’s the arrest report:

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Jupiter, Florida police also released a video that shows Lewandowski grabbing Fields’ arm:

As news Lewandowski has been charged circulated, Trump’s campaign released a statement:

One of the lawyers representing Lewandowski, Kendall Coffey, reportedly resigned from his role as a U.S. attorney in 1996 after biting a dancer during the process of running up a $900 bill at a strip club.

Fields and three of her colleagues subsequently quit Breitbart because of frustrations that management didn’t take Fields’ accusations sufficiently seriously. Fields’ weekly appearance on Fox News’ Cashin’ In show was discontinued, with the producer justifying the move by telling her she’s no longer “impartial” to Trump. A Huffington Post report highlighted how questions about the Fields incident and previous allegations about Lewandowski making “sexually suggestive and at times vulgar comments” to and about female journalists weren’t being raised at Trump news conferences in the days following the March 8 incident.

A call and email to Lewandowski were not immediately returned. CNN reports Lewandowski turned himself in to authorities this morning.

Ted Cruz’s campaign responded to the news by linking Lewandowski’s battery charge with the broader culture of the Trump campaign:

Meanwhile, a senior strategist for John Kasich tweeted that Lewandowski’s antics wouldn’t be tolerated in Kasich’s campaign:

Trump, however, continues to stand by his man: