Donald Trump issued his first tweets Tuesday after Florida authorities charged his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, with misdemeanor battery for allegedly forcefully grabbing former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields.
“Victory press conference was over. Why is she allowed to grab me and shout questions? Can I press charges?” Trump tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, with an image of the surveillance footage from the venue at which the alleged incident took place.
In his first message, earlier on Tuesday, Trump wrote, “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!”
Surveillance footage released Tuesday appears to corroborate Fields’ account that Lewandowski grabbed her as she sought to ask Trump a question following a March 8 news conference in Jupiter, Florida. The video, though choppy and missing frames, shows Lewandowski moving toward Fields and appearing to reach in and grab her by the arm.
“Why aren’t people looking at this reporters [sic] earliest statement as to what happened, that is before she found out the episode was on tape?” Trump also tweeted.
It is unclear to which statement Trump is referring.
“Because my story never changed. Seriously, just stop lying,” Fields replied on Twitter.
In a previously issued statement, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said 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,” said Hicks, who referred subsequent inquiries to Lewandowski’s legal counsel.
Lewandowski himself tweeted at Fields on March 11, claiming that the reporter was “totally delusional.”
“I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you,” he tweeted.
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