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Donald Trump aide is charged with attack on reporter

By Tim Walker

Donald Trump's controversial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has turned himself in to police in Florida to be charged with a misdemeanour assault on a journalist.

Michelle Fields, who until recently was a reporter for the right-wing website Breitbart, filed charges against Mr Lewandowski in Jupiter, Florida, where the alleged incident took place on March 8, following a campaign event at Mr Trump's National Golf Club.

As Ms Fields (28), tried to ask the Republican front-runner a question, Mr Lewandowski (41), allegedly grabbed and almost yanked her to the ground as he dragged her away from the candidate. She later tweeted an image of bruises on her arm, which she said she had sustained in the claimed incident.

Mr Lewandowski responded to her allegations by tweeting that he had "never touched" Ms Fields, describing her as "delusional" and adding: "I have never even met you."

Ms Fields' Breitbart bosses also questioned her claims, even after they were backed up by a Washington Post reporter, Ben Terris, who witnessed the incident and wrote his own account.

A week after the incident, she resigned from the site and subsequently filed the police report.

Yesterday, police released a surveillance video that appeared to show Mr Lewandowski grabbing Ms Fields as she described.

Mr Lewandowski turned himself in early yesterday morning.

A police report said: "Lewandowski grabbed Fields' left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back," resulting in what "appeared to (be) a grabbing-type injury."

In a statement, Mr Trump stood by his campaign manager, saying he was "absolutely innocent" of the charge.

Mr Lewandowski, who has also been accused of harassing other reporters and of handling a protester roughly at another rally, has been ordered to appear before a Florida judge on May 4.

The timing of the charge could prove significant. Polls suggest that the Trump campaign is currently running neck-and-neck with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Wisconsin, where the Republicans are due to hold their next winner-takes-all primary next Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph


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