The Donald Trump campaign has denied that its manager grabbed a young protester's collar at an Arizona rally on Saturday, the latest in a series of physical incidents at the candidate's events.
The candidate's rally in Arizona's city of Tucson was repeatedly interrupted by protesters — and footage captured one demonstrator being kicked and punched while he was escorted out.
In a separate incident, video captured what appeared to be an altercation between Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and a young protester at the rally.In the video, the young protester is yanked back while speaking with Lewandowski and others while being ejected from the event.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Lewandowski wasn't the one responsible, instead placing the blame on a man standing to the left of Lewandowski. The man seen to the left of Lewandowski in the video is a member of Trump's private security.
"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," Hicks said in an emailed statement Saturday. "The video clearly shows the protester reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr. Lewandowski."
It was the second time in just over a week that the campaign has had to address questions about Lewandowski.
Last week, Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields accused Lewandowski of grabbing her hard enough to cause a bruise while yanking her out of the way as Trump moved through a crowd. Lewandowski has denied it and Trump suggested that "perhaps she made the story up."
Fields later resigned from the conservative news site over its response to the alleged incident. Three of her colleagues also quit over the response and what they said was biased coverage in favor of the Trump campaign.
Trump has come under mounting criticism — from Democrats and from Republican rivals — for failing to fully denounce violent incidents at his events and for creating a climate where such incidents can persist.
"Mr. Trump does not condone violence at his rallies, which are private events paid for by the campaign," Hicks said in her statement.