Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's campaign manager, was arrested and charged with simple battery on Tuesday following an incident earlier this month involving a reporter. "[Lewandowski] will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court," a statement from Trump's campaign spokesperson, obtained byCNN, reveals. "He is completely confident that he will be exonerated."
The charge stems from Lewandowski's troubling encounter with Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a Trump event on Mar. 8, according to a police report filed in Florida. Trump's campaign manager "grabbed (Michelle) Fields' left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back," the report reads, according toCNBC. After Fields showed her arm to authorities, they concluded that she did indeed possess a "grabbing-type injury."
Though the timing may certainly be coincidental, Trump threatened early Tuesday morning to cancel his scheduled appearance at a CNN town hall event set to take place Tuesday evening. "CNN has nothing but my opponents on their shows," Trump tweeted. "Really one-sided and unfair reporting. Maybe I shouldn't do their town hall tonight!" Despite a statement from the Trump campaign claiming that Lewandowski "was not arrested," the Washington Post notes that the police report distributed to various news outlets labeled his arrest as occurring at 8:10 a.m.
Trump, predictably, isn't convinced of any of it. "Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter," Trump tweeted. By Trump's estimations, the "tapes" prove there is nothing suspicious going down during the encounter. Trump then suggested that Fields had changed her story after realizing the encounter with Lewandowski was caught on video, a statement that quickly earned an A+ response from Fields herself:
Of course, this isn't the first time that accusations of violence have plagued the Trump campaign. Earlier this month, a black protester was attacked at a rally in North Carolina before being tackled by local authorities. The attacker, later identified as 78-year-old John McGraw, toldInside Edition that he had no remorse for his actions. "The next time we see him," McGraw said, "we might have to kill him." Trump, during a Meet the Press interview just days later, refused to outright condemn McGraw's attack.