For the past several months, Donald Trump’s campaign rallies have frequently turned violent. Altercations between his supporters and protesters have occurred at an alarming rate. But this morning there was a bizarre twist that could only happen in the ongoing reality show that is Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, his campaign manager was charged with battery against a female reporter.
The charges were filed today, March 29, but the alleged assault took place following a rally on March 8, in Jupiter, Florida. Michelle Fields was covering the event for Breitbart news. After the rally, Fields says she approached Trump as he was walking by and attempted to ask him a question when Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, allegedly grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Trump with enough force that it left bruises.
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 10, 2016
She filed a police report. The Jupiter police department conducted a thorough investigation which lasted several weeks, and decided to file criminal charges against Lewandowski. They have also chosen to release security camera footage of the incident.
Trump wasted no time in tweeting a repudiation of the charges even though there is a video of the crime taking place.
Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
Trump said this even though before the video was released, Lewandowski denied ever touching Fields.
@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.
— Corey Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 11, 2016
Whether or not you think his actions should constitute a crime, you have to admit that he did in fact take hold of her arm, which makes his statement a lie.
Any other candidate would distance themselves from a member of their staff charged with battery. But not Trump. Doing so would damage his brand.
Trump has used carefully crafted political messaging to create a brand out of his political campaign. He has effectively portrayed himself as a business savvy political outsider who is fighting on behalf of “real Americans” against the self-serving political establishment and the manipulative liberal media.
Claiming that his campaign manager is being falsely accused of committing a crime against a female reporter supports the narrative that Trump has written for his own campaign. However, if he actually acknowledge that any inappropriate action was made by his campaign manager or any of his supporters, this would contradict his brand.
Even after a Trump supporter was arrested for urinating on a homeless hispanic man and beating him with a metal pole and told the police that, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” Trump’s response showed a total lack of sympathy for the victims pain and suffering and a tacit approval of the perpetrators actions.
Trump responded to a reporter’s direct question about his supporter charged with a hate crime by saying,”I think that would be a shame. But I haven’t heard about that. I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. And they are very passionate. I will say that.”
Trump definitely knows how to establish a brand, but what kind of a brand has his presidential campaign become? Who is he trying to appeal to and why?
In this recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump is repeatedly questioned about the violence that has taken place at his rallies, and another incident involving his campaign manager. The way he refuses to admit to what has clearly been captured on video is rather revealing to the way he manipulates information in order to maintain his brand. And the way he blames protesters and insults them without ever acknowledging that they were the victims of violent attacks is disturbing.
What do you think?