Washington, Mar 30: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said he will not sack his campaign manager, who has been charged for "intentionally" assaulting a female reporter, asserting that the accusation was false.
"She was grabbing me," Trump, 69, said yesterday at a CNN organised town hall in Wisconsin as he strongly defended his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
"I'm a loyal person. I'm going to be loyal to the country. We have to tell it like it is. It would be so easy for me to terminate this man, ruin his life, ruin his family. He's got four beautiful children in New Hampshire, ruin his whole everything, and say you're fired," Trump said.
He blamed female reporter Michelle Fields of false accusation and asserted that Corey would fight out the case in the court of law. Trump claimed that Corey had done nothing wrong after he was filmed reportedly grabbing Fields by the arm and pushing her away at a campaign event in Florida on March 8.
Corey was charged with one count of simple battery for "intentionally" touching former Breitbart reporter Fields after local police released a video of the incident. Corey is being unfairly maligned by an opportunistic reporter, Trump alleged.
"I just can't stand by and watch a man's life be destroyed. It's a very, very sad day in this country when a man can be destroyed over something like that," Trump said. He alleged the female reporter was aggressively accosting him.
Donald Trump blames reporter for false accusations
Trump's rivals have slammed the real-estate tycoon for not firing Corey. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas said he would ask his campaign manager to resign in such circumstances. "I know that the reporter alleged that she was physically assaulted. That I will say, it's consistent with the pattern of the Trump campaign," Cruz said.
"The culture of the campaign has been a campaign built on attacks, on insults, and I think there is no place in politics for insults, for personal attacks, for going to the gutter, and there should be no place for physical violence either," Cruz said.
Governor from Ohio John Kasich said he would have also fired his campaign manager in such a condition. "Look, when you have problems like that, you have to act. Now, I've been of course an executive running the seventh largest state. And we see things that happen.
At times, you want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when you see things that are pretty clear - from what I understand the video is clear. Of course I would fire him," Kasich said.