If there’s never been a competitive presidential candidate quite like Donald Trump, it stands to reason that there’s never been a presidential campaign manager quite like Corey Lewandowski.
For example, when was the last time Americans saw a campaign manager for a likely major-party nominee face a criminal charge in the middle of the race? NBC News reported this afternoon:
Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski turned himself in to Florida police Tuesday after being charged with assaulting a reporter at a campaign event earlier this month, according to the Jupiter Police Department.Michelle Fields, a reporter for Breitbart, filed charges alleging that Lewandowski pulled her arm while she attempted to ask Trump a question at an event at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. Lewandowski has been charged with misdemeanor battery and turned himself in to police shortly after 8 a.m., according to the report.
The local police department released a video clip showing Lewandowski’s interaction with Fields, which led to the criminal charge.
I can’t speak with any authority to the seriousness of the controversy – I’ll leave it to attorneys to comment on the significance of “misdemeanor battery” – but as a rule, when a campaign manager for a leading presidential campaign has to turn himself in to police, it’s not a positive development.
Though when it comes to Lewandowski, this is not the first controversy of note.
BuzzFeed recently reported, for example, that Trump’s campaign manager has been “accused of pushing a CNN reporter who tried to ask the candidate a question; physically confronting an aide for a rival campaign in a post-debate spin room; publicly shouting threats over the phone at a restaurant; making sexual comments about female journalists; and calling up women in the campaign press corps late at night to make unwanted romantic advances.”
Last week, there was also an incident in which Lewandowski was accused of grabbing a male protester at a Trump event by the collar.
The week before that, as Trump was winning several March 15 primaries, Politico reported that member of the campaign staff “expressed concerns” about Lewandowski’s “quick temper and heavy-handed leadership.” Some Trump aides reportedly even “planned a coup against him.”
As for Lewandowski’s future, Trump appears unlikely to part ways with his staffer. The candidate said on Twitter this morning, “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes - nothing there!”
* Update: A Trump campaign spokesperson said this morning that Lewandowski will enter a plea of not guilty and is “completely confident that he will be exonerated.”
More Like This
Best of MSNBC
Donald Trump's campaign manager faces criminal charge