Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has been ''seriously maligned'' after Lewandowski was charged with battery for allegedly grabbing a reporter at a campaign rally in Florida. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Story: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his campaign manager has been "unfairly maligned" after the man was arrested by police in Florida for an incident at a campaign rally in Florida earlier this month. Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, was charged with misdemeanor battery, the latest chapter in a raucous White House race marked by threats, insults and physical confrontations. Police in Jupiter, Florida, charged Lewandowski, 42, with intentionally grabbing and bruising the arm of Michelle Fields, then a reporter for the conservative news outlet Breitbart, when she tried to question Trump at a campaign event on March 8. During an interview with reporters on his private plane, Trump called Lewandowski "a fine person" and said what has happened is "very unfair". Police released a video of the incident showing Fields walking alongside Trump and trying to question him. Lewandowski is seen grabbing her arm and pulling her backward. Previous videos of the incident had been obscured by people in the crowd. At the time, Lewandowski called Fields "delusional" and said he never touched her. Campaign rallies for Trump, the billionaire businessman who leads the race to become the Republican candidate in the Nov. 8 presidential election, are tumultuous at times and have been marked by occasional clashes between protesters and supporters or security personnel. His pugnacious campaign style, which includes personal insults directed at rivals and scathing criticism of protesters, has been criticized for encouraging physical altercations at his rallies.