Donald Trump’s campaign manager appeared to grab a protester by his collar during a rally Saturday in an incident captured on video.
Multiple videos, including CNN’s footage, show campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reaching for the man’s collar as a member of Trump’s security detail also grabs him from behind.
“Corey Lewandowski was speaking with a protester at today’s rally in Tucson, Arizona when the individual he was speaking with was pulled from behind by the man to Lewandowski’s left,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in response to a CNN inquiry, referring to a member of Trump’s private security detail.
“The video clearly shows the protester reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr. Lewandowski,” Hicks said, adding that Trump “does not condone violence at his rallies, which are private events paid for by the campaign.”
Lewandowski and the young man appear to exchange words in the moments before the altercation. Hicks said Lewandowski “simply asked the protester to leave.”
“Instead of exiting, the protester grabbed the woman in front of him (in the green shirt), which is when the man to Corey’s left and many others in the scene react to her wincing,” Hicks said.
The protester had been asked to leave once prior to the altercation, according to two sources familiar with the incident. He was able to gain entry back inside before Lewandowski and security removed him for a second time, the sources said.
The incident comes after reporter Michelle Fields this month accused Lewandowski of grabbing her by the arm and yanking her backward as she tried to question Trump at a news conference. Lewandowski has denied that he touched her. Fields has pressed charges against him.
A short time before the encounter with Lewandowski, a man attending Trump’s rally appears to have sucker-punched a protester as the protester was being escorted out by security, according to multiple videos, including footage from CNN.
The man punched and kicked the protester before police officers rushed to the scene to detain him, the videos show. Sgt. Kimberly Bay with the Tucson Police Department said in an email that Tony Pettway, 32, was arrested for misdemeanor assault and released.
Linda Rothman, 67, was also arrested for an unrelated misdemeanor assault and released.
Earlier this month, a Trump supporter elbowed a protester in the face as he was being escorted from the building. That man, John McGraw, 78, was later arrested and charged with assault.