Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Donald Trump says he's standing by his campaign manager despite the fact that he has now been charged with misdemeanor battery after an incident with a female campaign reporter. Which makes perfect sense because Trump is, as everyone knows, notoriously averse to publicly firing people.
'16 from 30,000: We've been around long enough to have gotten pretty familiar with the typical age-old rhythm of the Embattled Political Aide. Here's how it usually works: First comes the offense (a run-in with law enforcement, the discovery of an unsavory past, a very ill-advised tweet, the revelation of being the brains behind a dirty trick, etc.) Then, there's often a day or two of campaign lockdown as the media frenzy grows and calls for resignation swirl. Sometimes, there's the "internal investigation." And finally the dance usually ends when, regardless of whether or not they admit to wrongdoing, the person in question says they've "regretfully become a distraction" to their boss and submit their resignation.
That's 180 degrees from what's happening with Trump aide Corey Lewandowski. Not only did Trump defend him in the wake of allegations that he had aggressively grabbed the arm of a member of the press, he notably placed Lewandowski in the same camera shot as himself during his post-Florida victory speech. Now that Lewandowski has been charged in the incident and new video appears to corroborate reporter Michelle Fields' claim, Team Trump is still defending him and insisting that Lewandowski was entirely in the right, even suggesting that Fields' bruises were on on her arm before the incident. Aaand then there's Trump tweeting about how he'd like to press charges against Fields herself. It's yet another case where a candidate who recognized the rules of political gravity would adhere to the Rules of How These Things Usually Unfold, if only in the name of self-preservation. As we've learned time and time again, Trump is not that candidate at all, even when it comes to serious accusations of violence, falsehoods and run-ins with the law.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery on Tuesday for his altercation with reporter Michelle Fields earlier this month.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tossed his support behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz one week before the Badger State primary.
A pair of outside groups opposing Donald Trump have spent almost $1.7 million on TV ads in Wisconsin to try to halt Trump's momentum before the state's primary next Tuesday.
And from First Read this AM: Why Wisconsin is the New New Hampshire.
FOR THE RECORD…
"Why is this reporter touching me as I leave news conference? What is in her hand??"
-- Donald Trump tweet, accompanied by a photo of reporter Michelle Fields next to Trump holding what looks like a pen.
Hillary Clinton is in New York, while Bernie Sanders campaigns in Wisconsin.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in the Badger State.
And it's MSNBC Town Hall-athon: John Kasich talks to Chuck Todd in a discussion airing at 7pm. Chris Matthews talks to Trump at 8 and Rachel Maddow sits down with Clinton and then Sanders at 9.