Trump's Evolving Explanation of the Alleged Lewandowski-Fields Incident

Trump's campaign manager was charged Tuesday with simple battery.

ByABC News
March 30, 2016, 7:36 PM

— -- As the story about the alleged March 8 encounter between Donald Trump's campaign manager and a reporter has continued to unspool, Trump's version of events has evolved as well.

Corey Lewandowski was charged Tuesday with simple battery, a misdemeanor, for allegedly grabbing former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields during the event at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, police said.

After Fields first spoke up about the alleged incident in an op-ed, Trump and his campaign manager denied such an encounter had taken place and said it was made up by the reporter. However, Trump now suggests that Fields posed a possible threat.

Here’s a look at how Trump -- and his campaign’s -- description of the incident has evolved over time:

March 10: The campaign says they have no knowledge of the incident and that no video exists

Fields posted her account of the alleged incident on Breitbart the morning of March 10, claiming she was “jolted backwards” and “almost fell to the ground.”

“Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down," Fields wrote. "I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken. The Washington Post’s Ben Terris immediately remarked that it was Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who aggressively tried to pull me to the ground. I quickly turned around and saw Lewandowski and Trump exiting the building together. No apology. No explanation for why he did this.”

The campaign implied in a statement that day that Fields has a pattern of exaggerating incidents, and Trump still stands by those comments, claiming the tapes released prove her story was exaggerated.

“We leave to others whether this part of a larger pattern of exaggerating incidents, but on multiple occasions [Fields] has become part of the news story as opposed to reporting it,” the March 10 statement read. “Recall she also claimed to have been beaten by a New York City Police officer with a baton.”

The campaign denied the alleged incident ever took place in a statement released later on March 10.

"The accusation, which has only been made in the media and never addressed directly with the campaign, is entirely false. As one of the dozens of individuals present as Mr. Trump exited the press conference, I did not witness any encounter,” Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said in a statement. “In addition to our staff, which had no knowledge of said situation, not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident."

Later that night, Trump himself commented. "I wasn't involved in it, but the Secret Service were surrounding everyone,” Trump said in the spin room following the GOP debate in Miami. “They said nothing happened. Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened.”

Two days after the campaign issued the statement above, police obtained video from Trump’s security cameras. Trump said Tuesday that he provided the video from his security cameras to the police.

“That tape was given by me,” Trump told reporters. “Because my places are very successful and I have cameras all over the ceiling. That tape was given by me.”

March 11: Lewandowski tweets he never met Fields and never touched her

“@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never met you,” Lewandowski wrote.

March 29-30: Trump says Fields was a threat and that he tried to prevent her hand from touching his arm

Trump now suggests he was involved in the incident and that Fields was actually a potential threat to him.

“Well, she brushed me, She grabbed my arm. You see that? You see me trying to get her hand off my arm. I’m trying to flick her hand off my arm,” Trump told David Muir this morning on "Good Morning America." “She shouldn’t have been grabbing me if you want to be technical. Maybe I should file charges against her because she touched my arm also.”

Trump said he is considering legal action in response to the simple battery charge against his campaign manager and that a counter-claim could be coming.

“I’m sure there will be a counter-claim coming down the line,” Trump said. “Should I file charges against her because she touched my arm as well?”

He also suggested that the pen that appears to be in Fields' left hand in video footage of the incident was dangerous, and in CNN’s town hall Tuesday night, Trump alleged it could have been “a little bomb.”

“She had a pen in her hand and that could have been a knife, even a pen, it’s dangerous,” Trump said on "GMA" Wednesday.

As for Lewandowski, his lawyers put out a statement Tuesday after the charge was announced saying that he is "absolutely innocent."

"He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated," the statement read.