WASHINGTON — Did the Trump campaign have access to footage showing their campaign manager grabbed a reporter throughout this entire controversy?
On Tuesday, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery several weeks after allegedly manhandling former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a press conference in Florida. At the time, the Trump campaign and Lewandowski himself denied that the incident had taken place. Three days later, Lewandowski tweeted that he had "never" touched or even met Fields. Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks even put out a statement saying that the accusation was "entirely false" and "not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident."
Except it seems that a camera did — a camera belonging to the candidate.
The Jupiter, Florida, police department released security video that shows Lewandowski appearing to grab Fields and move her away from Trump as she approaches the candidate. Other video and audio have come out showing different angles of the incident, but the security footage — which was taken in the ballroom of the Trump National Golf Club where the incident occurred — is the most cut-and-dry piece of evidence yet backing up Fields' account.
"On March 12th, 2016, I obtained video footage from Trump Security at Trump National in Jupiter," the police report reads. "I specifically obtained video from the ballroom the night and time in question."
On Tuesday, Hicks did not respond to questions from BuzzFeed News about whether the campaign had previously reviewed this footage before denying the incident, and whether the campaign attempted to view this footage.
Following the charges, the campaign continued to deny the incident, saying in a statement that Lewandowski is innocent.
Trump himself tweeted that there was "nothing there" on Tuesday: "Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!"
Lewandowski's alleged battery of Fields caused a furor in the political world earlier this month including an implosion at Fields' former outlet, Breitbart, from which she and several others quit in protest after some at Breitbart appeared to side with the Trump campaign over her.
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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