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Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski charged with assaulting reporter

Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski turned himself in to Florida police Tuesday after being charged with assaulting a reporter.

Donald Trump spent Tuesday unapologetically defending campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he was charged with with misdemeanor battery for an incident with a reporter at a campaign event earlier this month.

"I think it's a very very sad day in this country when a man could be destroyed over something like that," Trump told reporters aboard his airplane in Wisconsin, where the GOP frontrunner is holding a rally.

The real estate mogul said he doesn't "discard people" and that he hopes the criminal case does not hinder the role of one of his top political operatives.

Shortly before 8 a.m. ET, Lewandowski turned himself in to Jupiter, Florida, police on simple battery charges after an altercation with then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields on March 8. Lewandowski initially said he never touched Fields, but video released by police showed he did make contact with the journalist as she attempt to ask Trump a question.

Trump said he advised his political ally he should "never settle that case" and accused Fields of changing her story once video of the incident surfaced. He said he should be the one filing charges against Fields for grazing his arm at the event and questioned bruises she said she received from the alleged yank.

"How do you know those bruises weren't there before? I'm not a lawyer," Trump said.

"My story never changed. Seriously, just stop lying," Fields tweeted.

The Jupiter Police report stated the video, along with an interview with Fields and another reporter who witnessed the event, shows "probable cause exists to charge Corey Lewandowski" with one count of simple battery.

NBC News' Tom Winter contributed. This article originally appeared on