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Trump on aide charged with assault: "How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?"

Donald Trump is sticking by his campaign manager even after the aide was accused by law enforcement on Tuesday of assaulting a news reporter.

Corey Lewandowski, one of Trump's top staffers, was charged with battery for reportedly manhandling Breitbart's Michelle Fields at a campaign event in Florida earlier this month. Video shows that Lewandowski grabbed Fields and pulled her out of the candidate's way, and Fields later said she had a bruise on her arm. For the full backstory, read the explainer from Vox's Tara Golshan.

In comments to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Trump attacked Fields and questioned her account of her injuries. (Trump's campaign has repeatedly leveled personal accusations against Fields since news of the incident surfaced.)

"How do you know those bruises weren't there before?" Trump said on Tuesday. "So, you say, bruises on her arm. How did they get there? Who put them there? I don't know that [Lewandowski] put them there."

Trump's remarks immediately drew widespread condemnation, particularly because he wondered aloud about Fields: "If you're going to get squeezed, don't you think you'd yell out a scream?"

Trump, who has called himself a great defender of police officers, also expressed confidence that a jury would disagree with the authorities.

"In any event, I'm sticking up for [Lewandowski] because I'm not going to let a person's life be destroyed over somebody that we have on tape, and you just take a look at what people are saying when they see that incident on tape," Trump said. "And no jury, in my opinion, no jury would convict a man and destroy a man's life over [it]."

Later on Tuesday, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton also weighed in on the controversy.

"I think that the charges being brought today certainly suggest that the authorities thought [Fields's] story was credible," Clinton said.

Donald Trump's ideology of violence

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