Trump campaign chief charged with battery of reporter

March 30, 2016 8:47 am
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Corey Lewandowski, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, pictured March 11, 2016, was arrested for allegedly grabbing a reporter/AFP
Corey Lewandowski, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, pictured March 11, 2016, was arrested for allegedly grabbing a reporter/AFP

, WASHINGTON, United States, Mar 30 – Donald Trump’s presidential campaign manager was arrested and charged with battery Tuesday for allegedly grabbing a reporter, in a dramatic new illustration of the tensions surrounding the Republican frontrunner’s White House bid.

Corey Lewandowski is accused of grabbing reporter Michelle Fields so hard that it left bruises on her arm during a March 8 Trump news conference at a golf club he owns in the Palm Beach County town of Jupiter.

Overview
  • Corey Lewandowski is accused of grabbing reporter Michelle Fields so hard that it left bruises on her arm during a March 8 Trump news conference at a golf club he owns in the Palm Beach County town of Jupiter.
  • The 42-year-old is due in court on May 4, according to an affidavit obtained by AFP.
  • The billionaire candidate, whose rallies have been hit by a string of protests and outbreaks of sporadic violence, gave unequivocal backing to his top staffer, prompting Fields to defend herself on Twitter and accuse Trump of lying.

“He was arrested this morning and released with a notice to appear,” Adam Brown, a Jupiter police spokesman, told AFP, saying Lewandowski was not handcuffed after he turned himself in.

The 42-year-old is due in court on May 4, according to an affidavit obtained by AFP.

The billionaire candidate, whose rallies have been hit by a string of protests and outbreaks of sporadic violence, gave unequivocal backing to his top staffer, prompting Fields to defend herself on Twitter and accuse Trump of lying.

Ted Cruz, Trump’s main Republican rival, and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton wasted little time in weighing in, blaming Trump for fomenting a toxic atmosphere around the campaign.

It is not the first time Lewandowski has caused controversy. In a separate incident caught on tape also earlier this month at a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona, he appeared to grab one man by the scruff of the neck during a melee.

The Trump campaign denied the top aide had been arrested Tuesday, saying in a statement: “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.”

Trump, who has been engaged in a running feud with much of the media, told reporters from his plane: “I tell him, never settle the case, go all the way.”

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