Trump Turns on Reporter Who Accused Campaign Manager of Battery
Donald Trump is doubling down on his support for his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, following his arrest.
On a heated interview with TODAY on Wednesday morning, the GOP frontrunner said: “When you look at what happened, it was so minor that he might not have even thought about it.”
He also called Lewandowski “an honorable guy” in the interview, as well as a family man.
Lewandowski turned himself into police in Jupiter, Florida on Tuesday after being charged with misdemeanor battery for grabbing a reporter.
Trump's defense of Lewandowksi was non-stop.
He defended the 42-year-old campaign manager on a plane to Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon. Then, at a CNN town hall interview with Anderson Cooper later that night.
He said: “She didn't almost fall to the ground. He got in her way. By the way, she was grabbing me. Am I supposed to press charges against her?”
Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News: “Look, I have to stand by him.”
He added: “She grabbed me and then he maybe brushed her aside. And we're going to destroy his life for that? I don't think so.”
Lewandowski has been charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly grabbing a reporter earlier this month at a Florida rally, officials said.
Reporter Michelle Fields, then working for right-wing news website Breitbart, said she was asking the presidential hopeful a question about affirmative action at a March 8 news conference in Jupiter when Lewandowski grabbed her arm.
She posted photos of the bruises on social media and Trump is now questioning everything about her story.
Trump told reporters on Tuesday afternoon: “Who said there were bruises from that. Who says those bruises weren’t from before?”
On Tuesday, she aimed her remarks at Trump on Trump:
Because my story never changed. Seriously, just stop lying. https://t.co/1fz9cBHOuT— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 29, 2016
Trump says Lewandowski was only trying to protect him, telling Hannity: “She grabbed me and she had something in her hand. It looked like it could have been a pen. From the stand point of where we are, who knows what it is?”
Lewandowski is due in court May 4.
He is represented by Kendall Coffey of Coffey Burlington in Miami and Scott Richardson of the law office of Scott N. Richardson, P.A. in West Palm Beach.
Richardson's law firm released a statement on behalf of Lewandowski, saying: "Mr. Lewandowski was issued a Notice to Appear and given a court date. He was not arrested. Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge. He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated."