Trump campaign manager accused of accosting reporter

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FAYETTVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The campaign of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday strongly denied allegations that his campaign manager roughly “yanked” a female reporter’s arm, and questioned her credibility in a statement and on social media.

Michelle Fields, a reporter with conservative outlet Breitbart News, says Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski physically pulled her away from Trump after a news conference in Florida earlier this week.

Fields wrote in a first person post on Thursday that, after asking Trump a question as he was leaving a room at his Jupiter, Florida, golf course, she was “yanked” by a man that another reporter identified as Lewandowski.

“Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken,” she wrote.

Fields on Thursday also posted a photo on Twitter of a bruised arm. “I guess these just magically appeared on me,” she wrote. “So weird.”

In a statement, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks described the accusation as “entirely false” and said neither Fields nor the other reporter had met previously met Lewandowski.

“As one of dozens of individuals present as Mr. Trump exited the press conference I did not witness any encounter. In addition to our staff, which had no knowledge of said situation, not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident,” she said.

She added that Trump often faces crowds “aggressively seeking access to Mr. Trump” but that campaign staff “would never do anything to harm another individual, while at the same time understanding that Mr. Trump and his personal space should never be invaded.”

In her statement, Hicks said Fields’ accusations were “part a larger pattern of exaggerating” incidents. On his Twitter account, Lewandowski also sought to undercut Fields’ accusations, calling her an “attention seeker” and posting links to a pair of stories on the conservative news site that questioned her credibility.

Written by Jill Colvin