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…
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.