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Mar 29, 2016 12:28 PM

Police charge Trump campaign manager with assault on a reporter

The Associated Press

Florida police have charged Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with simple assault in connection with an incident earlier in the month involving a reporter.

Police in Jupiter, Florida issued Lewandowski a notice Tuesday to appear before a judge on May 4 for the misdemeanor charge. A surveillance video released by the police appears to show Lewandowski grabbing a reporter for Breitbart News as she tried to ask Trump a question during a March 8 campaign event.

The police report states: "Lewandowski grabbed (Michelle) Fields' left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back." Fields showed police her left forearm which "appeared to show a grabbing-type injury," according to the investigating officer.

Trump's campaign says Lewandowski is "absolutely innocent."

The statement from spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Lewandowski "will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated."

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Trump stood by his campaign manager, saying "she’s grabbing at me and he’s acting as an intermediary, trying to block her from doing that. The news conference was done, it was over, it was finished. And she was running up and grabbing and asking questions, and she wasn’t supposed to be doing that."

"If you look at that tape, he (Lewandowki) was very very seriously maligned. And I think it’s very unfair," Trump added.

Lewandowski has retained an attorney in West Palm Beach.

Lewandowksi is a longtime New Hampshire based Republican operative. The Windham resident was state director, northeast regional director, and national director for voter registration for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity before being hired early last year to run Trump's presidential campaign.

NH1 News Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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