Donald Trump's campaign manager charged with assault

The moment Donald Trump's campaign manager grabs a reporter by the arm and pulls her away from Trump. Photo / Jupiter Police Department
The moment Donald Trump's campaign manager grabs a reporter by the arm and pulls her away from Trump. Photo / Jupiter Police Department

The arm grab that supposedly never happened just landed Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski under arrest.

Trump has doubled down on supporting Lewandowski by tweeting images of her brushing his arm and asking if he can press charges.

He also questioned her motive in another paranoid tweet.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a member of Trump's Secret Service detail told on Tuesday that Fields touched Trump twice - and was warned by agents to stop - before Lewandowski pulled her away.

'She crossed in between agents and our protectee after being told not to,' said the agent, who was present that night in Jupiter.

The aerial footage from inside the country club ballroom, which is a series of still photographs taken at steady intervals, doesn't capture Fields making contact with Trump. But it shows him apparently pulling his arm away from her.

'We supplied those tapes and those tapes to me are very conclusive,' Trump told journalists this afternoon.

Lewandowski turned himself in to police in Jupiter, Florida, and has been charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with an incident at a March 8 news conference. Michelle Fields, then a reporter for the conservative Breitbart News website, accused Lewandowski of grabbing and yanking her arm as she tried to ask the Republican presidential front-runner a question.

Washington Post reporter Ben Terris witnessed episode and described it in a March 10 story.

"As security parted the masses to give him passage out of the chandelier-lit ballroom, Michelle Fields, a young reporter for Trump-friendly Breitbart News, pressed forward to ask the Republican front-runner a question. I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump's 41-year-old campaign manager.

"Fields stumbled. Finger-shaped bruises formed on her arm.

"'I'm just a little spooked,' she said, a tear streaming down her face. 'No one has grabbed me like that before.'

"She took my arm and squeezed it hard. 'I don't even want to do it as hard as he did,' she said, 'because it would hurt.'

"The Trump campaign has repeatedly denied that Lewandowski touched Fields, even as video emerged that appeared to show the grab. A clearer video was released by Jupiter Police on Tuesday."

An arrest report indicates that the video was captured by a security camera at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., where the billionaire real estate mogul addressed the media after primary victories in Michigan and Mississippi. The investigating officer, Marc Bujnowski, wrote that "the video parallels with what Fields had told me, in that Trump was walking towards the exit of the ballroom, taking questions and signing autographs."

Fields is seen on video, holding her phone up to Trump, appearing to ask him a question. Trump had looked in her direction, and then Lewandowski extended his left arm out, stepping between Trump and another male subject believed to be U.S. Secret Service. After extending his arm out, Lewandowski appeared to reach for Fields's left arm with his left hand, allowing him to get closer to Fields. Lewandowski then grabbed Fields's left arm with his right hand, causing her to turn and step back. This motion cleared a path for Lewandowski to walk past Fields, allowing him to catch up and get closer to Trump, who was walking during this entire incident.

Bujnowski wrote that police obtained footage on March 12.

Yet in an interview with The Washington Post last Wednesday at Mar-a-Lago, Lewandowski continued to deny that he had any physical contact with Fields, or had even met her or Terris.

"I've never met Ben Terris before -- spoke to him on the phone, never met him -- and this particular woman, I also had never met, nor had I ever spoken to her on the phone. The notion that -- just the premise that Breitbart is going to ask Mr. Trump a question that he can't handle, and I'm so concerned what this question might be -- on its face, that is just an egregious notion."

Lewandowski added that he "didn't see anything happen."

- Washington Post

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