Culture

Donald Trump Defends ‘Spirited’ Campaign Manager After Video May Show Him Grabbing A Protester

Donald Trump Holds Press Conference To Announce Ben Carson Endorsement
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Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is swiftly becoming a household name after more than one incident of alleged grabby behavior. Reporter Michelle Fields recently resigned her Breitbart position when the outlet declined to support her after a clip showed Lewandowski roughly grabbing her at a rally. In response, Trump’s camp attacked Fields’ character and denied the video evidence. Fields says she asked Trump a question about Justice Scalia when Lewandowski went off on her. She felt dismayed at how her employer ignored the encounter until several days later.

Lewandowski’s raising eyebrows again, this time after footage surfaced from a Tucson, Arizona rally. He’s accused of grabbing a protester by the collar. Team Trump issued a statement in response to the clip, which they say shows someone else yanking the protester. There’s also an interesting addendum about the rallies, “which are private events paid for by the campaign.” That kind of language sets Trump up for a future argument against political protesters and their First Amendment rights. That’s one heck of a murky issue and one that likely won’t float, but the Trump camp probably foresees more issues down the road. A “private events” disclaimer will only go so far with a rally, which isn’t exactly a private dinner requiring $500 per head tickets.

Now, onto this video. Nobody (except Trump, who speaks below) seems to know why a campaign manager would insert himself into a rally crowd. Also, no one disputes that Lewandowski appears in the video, and it looks like he moves to grab the protester, but a third person does so first.

In response, Trump spoke with George Stephanopoulos to defend his guy:

“They had signs up in that area, that were horrendous, that I cannot say what they said on the sign. And, I will give him credit. Now he didn’t touch him. I give [Lewandowski] credit for having spirit. He wanted them to take down those horrible profanity laced signs.”

Lewandowski could have sent security to speak with the protester. Then again, he’s not exactly a spring chicken. Folks who have worked with him before describe him as a “go-getter,” but “hot headed” and “aggressive” also came to mind. Also, folks are now having fun with his Wikipedia entry.

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