Trump: Reporter ‘shouldn’t have been touching me’

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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThird-party candidate McMullin: We can win Idaho and Wyoming Pence's plane skids off runway in New York Trump lashes out over 'illegal' Access Hollywood tapes MORE on Tuesday argued that his campaign manager acted appropriately by getting physically involved when a reporter approached him earlier this month.

“She shouldn’t have been touching me,” he said during a CNN town hall in Milwaukee, discussing former Breitbart journalist Michelle Fields.

“She had a pen in her hand,” Trump told moderator Anderson Cooper. "It could have been a knife. It might have been dangerous.”

Trump said he would not punish Corey Lewandowski because his top aide did nothing wrong during the encounter on March 12 in Jupiter, Fla.

“I would have loved to have fired him, but I stick up for people when they are unjustly accused,” he said of his campaign manager.

“She was grabbing me,” he added of Fields. "She was off-base. I don’t think [Lewandowski] knew her. She’s not a baby. She wasn’t yanked down."

“My arm has never been the same, folks,” the Republican presidential front-runner quipped after saying Fields touched his arm.

Lewandowski was charged with a single count of battery earlier Tuesday after allegedly grabbing Fields earlier this month. The Jupiter Police Department issued the charge after concluding he “intentionally” touched the reporter during a campaign rally there.

Trump defended Lewandowski later that evening, arguing that bruises Fields cited as evidence may not have come from the incident.

“How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?” he asked reporters on his private plane. "If you’re going to get squeezed, wouldn’t you let out a scream or something? How did they get there? Who put them there? I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer.”

Lewandowski was issued a notice to appear in court on May 4. Trump’s campaign maintains his role will not change following the summons.