Trump campaign manager charged with battery for alleged manhandling of woman reporter
Police in Florida have charged Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, with misdemeanor simple battery, The Associated Press reports. The charge stems from an incident earlier this month in which he allegedly grabbed Michelle Fields, then a reporter for the pro-Trump news site Breitbart, and pulled her out of the way when she was attempting to ask Trump a question along a media line.
The Trump campaign responded in a statement: “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,” and that further questions are to be directed to Lewandowski’s attorneys. His court date is May 4.
The incident set off in a raucous internal feud at Breitbart, resulting in the resignations of a few staff members in protest to support Fields.
A report in The Daily Beast indicated that Lewandowski initially told Breitbart editor Matthew Boyle that he hadn’t recognized Fields, “instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”
The Trump campaign, however, has publicly denied that any such incident took place at all. Trump himself declared to CNN: “Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened.”
Fields responded to the Trump campaign by tweeting out a photo of her bruised arm:
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 10, 2016
In addition, video clips have emerged online, appearing to show exactly what happened from multiple angles: