Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has parted ways with his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a little more than three months after Lewandowski physically grabbed and pulled a female reporter, leaving visible bruises on her body.
On Monday, the New York Times reported that Lewandowski “will no longer be working with” the Trump campaign. The report did not specify whether Lewandowski was fired, or if he left voluntarily. A call placed to Lewandowski’s phone on Monday morning went to a voicemail inbox, which was full.
The Times also did not say whether Lewandowski’s departure had anything to do with Michelle Fields, the former Breitbart reporter who Lewandowski grabbed in March. That incident — which was caught on video — led to Fields pressing battery charges against Lewandowski, though the charges were eventually thrown out.
Instead, the Times’ reporting indicated that Lewandowski’s departure had more to do with “increasing concerns from allies and donors” about his job performance. Lewandowski had no national campaign experience prior to running Trump’s wildly successful bid for the Republican nomination. Prior to his role on Trump’s campaign, Lewandowski was a political operative in New Hampshire, working for the Koch Brothers’ influential conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
Lewandowski’s physical interaction with Fields earned him significant media attention in March — not just because of the incident itself, but because of how he and the Trump campaign handled it afterwards. Immediately after Fields accused Lewandowski of hurting her, he publicly denied it, calling her “delusional” and “attention seeking.”
@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.
— Corey R. Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 11, 2016
Later, when video and audio of the confrontation were released, Trump said Fields was responsible, because “she was running up and grabbing and asking questions. And she wasn’t supposed to be doing that.”
Trump also repeatedly rejected calls to fire Lewandoswki over the incident.
“I don’t discard people. I stay with people,” he said. About a month later, however, Trump began expressing doubts about Lewandowski, and reportedly demoted him to a “body man and scheduler” hours before the New York primary election in April.
Lewandowski’s incident with Fields was not the only time he was accused of violence during the campaign. Later in March, he was caught on camera grabbing a protester by the shirt collar. Lewandowski has also been accused of acting inappropriately toward female journalists in the past — a Politico report in March alleged Lewandowski “made sexually suggestive and at times vulgar comments to ― and about ― female journalists who have covered Trump’s presidential bid.” Lewandowski denied those claims.