By Jesse Byrnes
Trump: Reporter would have pressed charges even if aide apologized
Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump camp: Dean 'went straight to the gutter' Arizona newspaper endorses Dem for president for first time Republican former senator to endorse Clinton MORE is downplaying the notion that his campaign manager could have avoided a battery charge if he had apologized to a reporter.
One day after Corey Lewandowski was charged with simple battery for allegedly grabbing former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, Trump suggested Fields would have used an apology against his campaign.
"I actually don't think so. I think she would have pressed charges anyway, because I think she likes it," Trump told NBC's "Today" on Wednesday when asked what would have happened if Lewandowski had simply apologized earlier this month. "That's my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong.
"If he said he's sorry, she would have used that against him," Trump said.
He refused to acknowledge that his campaign manager had flatly denied any incident took place, despite video clearly showing contact between the two, instead pivoting to say the reporter touched him.
Trump described Lewandowski as an "honorable guy" and a "decent man" with children.
Trump's campaign has regularly attacked Fields's credibility since the incident. Earlier this month, Lewandowski called Fields an "attention seeker" in a tweet, and Trump's campaign claimed Fields had exaggerated previous incidents.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump called Fields "a very aggressive person."
Video released Tuesday by the police department in Jupiter, Fla., shows Fields standing next to Trump but does not appear to show her touching the businessman. She holds a pen and phone as she attempts to ask Trump a question after a press conference on March 8 when she was allegedly pulled by Lewandowski, leading to the battery charge.
Trump has gone on the offensive against Fields after his top aide turned himself into police. The campaign has said Lewandowski intends to plead not guilty when he makes a court appearance on May 4.