Donald Trump defended campaign manager Corey Lewandowski at CNN’s Republican Town Hall on March 29. Lewandowski was charged with simple battery against ex-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields for an incident on March 8.
Trump said that Lewandowski was provoked by the reporter, even speculating that Fields’s pen could have been a “little bomb.”
Why is this reporter touching me as I leave news conference? What is in her hand?? pic.twitter.com/HQB8dl0fhn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
“She went through the Secret Service, she had a pen in her hand, which Service Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb,” Trump said.
He returned to the subject a couple minutes later as he continued to defend his top aide.
“She had a pen in her hand,” he said. “It could’ve been a knife. It could’ve been just a pen, which is very dangerous.”
Additionally, Trump read Fields’s original report of the incident, pointing to her claim that she was knocked to the ground as inconsistent with the video.
Following Trump’s comments about the “little bomb,” users on Twitter mocked the candidate with James Bond references:
Where can I purchase one of those Michelle Fields pen-knife-bombs? Asking for a friend. Named James Bond.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 30, 2016
— Tanvi Madan (@tanvi_madan) March 30, 2016
Earlier in the day before the town hall, Lewandowski was charged for simple battery by Jupiter Police. The charge was accompanied with the release of a security camera video of the incident.
The video shows Fields trying to question Trump, and Lewandowski forcefully pulling her away from behind.
In the days following the incident, Fields tweeted a picture of her bruised arm and resigned from her post at the website Breitbart saying that the website didn’t defend her enough.