Donald Trump Defends Corey Lewandowski With A Dramatic Reading Of Michelle Fields’ Statement

Ahead of Tuesday night’s CNN GOP Town Hall with the Republican party’s presidential candidates, one of the highlights of the news cycle was the arrest of Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. In early March, Lewandowski allegedly grabbed former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and moved her away from Trump after a press conference in Jupiter, Florida. Since then, both sides have smeared one another while the media at large mostly ignored the matter — until Lewandowski’s arrest. Hence why CNN anchor Anderson Cooper brought the issue up with Trump during his Town Hall segment.

When Cooper broached the subject, Trump kept a straight face and allowed the host to talk for almost a full 20 seconds. Yet when the particulars of Fields’ claims, Lewandowski’s initial response and the word “touch” were used in combination by Cooper, Trump was no longer to keep silent:

COOPER: Lewandowski himself tweeted, saying, “I never met this reporter, I never touched this person.” Now the video tape shows he clearly did touch this person…

TRUMP: Well…

COOPER: Whether or not you think it was battery…

TRUMP: Excuse me. “Touch,” I don’t know what “touch” means.

COOPER: Well, he said, “I never touched this person.”

TRUMP: And then she says, “Oh, look at my arm!”

COOPER: Did he mislead you, as well?

TRUMP: Not at all. No, not at all.

By the time they were done interrupting each other, a mere 10 seconds had passed. It was clear that Trump was less fazed by everything that was being dumped on his embattled campaign manager, as the New York real estate mogul defended Lewandowski throughout the rest of the clip and even tried to turn the critical focus onto Fields.

Trump and his camp had spent much of the day laying the groundwork for an offensive against Fields. From spokesperson Katrina Pierson’s appearance on CNN, to Trump’s many tweets about the matter, the leading GOP candidate felt that blame rested on Fields because of apparent discrepancies between her initial and later statements.

To prove his point, Trump further interrupted Cooper’s questions about Lewandowski to offer a dramatic reading of Fields’ first statement after the incident. He even brought his own copy of the statement, typed in a large, all caps font on a piece of paper.

“You want to read it or do you want me to do it? You’re a professional announcer,” Trump quipped with Cooper. “That’s an exact quote from her prior to seeing the cameras, and now she says, ‘ Well, now I better change my story!'”

Once Cooper finally managed to make it past Trump’s posturing and the cheers from the candidate’s supporters in the crowd, the CNN anchor asked him whether or not he would drop Lewandowski. Trump turned to the crowd and continued his defense of his campaign manager:

“It would be so easy to terminate this man, ruin his life, ruin his family — he’s got four beautiful children in New Hampshire — ruin his whole everything, and say, ‘You’re fired.’ I’ve fired many people, especially on The Apprentice.”

However, it didn’t take long for Trump to return to Fields’ statement, which he read line-by-line to Cooper and the crowd in a dramatic, over-the-top fashion.

Watch the full exchange below.

(Via CNN)