Donald Trump Wednesday sparred with NBC's Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie in a "Today"
show fight over his defense of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski against accusations of battery, even not admitting that there was reason to "agree to disagree" with the two morning show hosts on the issue.
"You can't disagree, Matt, because the evidence is the evidence," the GOP presidential candidate told Lauer just before the call-in interview ended. "Most people would disagree with you."
Lewandowski turned himself in to the Jupiter, Florida Police Department after a warrant was issued on charges that he grabbed former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields while she she was trying to ask Trump questions after a press conference.
Lewandowski has denied Fields' claims, and Trump appeared on several news programs on Wednesday to stand up for his top aide.
"She made up the story, Savannah," Trump told Guthrie. "She said she was yanked down . . . She grabbed me by the arm. I didn't know who it was. She went through Secret Service because they were surrounding me and we were walking out. She was asking questions she wasn't supposed to because the press conference had ended."
Trump also said that he does not think charges would not have been filed had Lewandowski apologized instead of denying anything happened.
"I think if he called up, said he's sorry, I think she would used it against him," said Trump. "I'm not a believer in that . . . I don't think anything would have happened. I think we'd be in the same place. She'd have a little better evidence. Right now, she's got no evidence."
The arguing began, though, when Lauer asked Trump if he'd changed his story after Fields made her initial accusations.
"She grabbed me by the arm," said Trump. "She was asking questions she wasn't supposed to because the press conference had ended."
Lauer angered Trump further when asking Trump that if he were president and his chief of staff, "goes to the American people and publicly doesn't tell the truth in the way that Corey Lewandowski hasn't told the truth, would you put up with it?"
Trump replied that the incident was "so minor, he might not have even thought about it."
"When you look at this, it was so minor," he said. "We have people in the Middle East chopping off heads and drowning people in cages, and he brushes her. He brushed her to get — probably to get her hand off of my arm. So it was so minor. He might not have even realized it took place."
He also defended Lewandowski against complaints from earlier in the year that he'd grabbed a protester.
"This protester was an agitator," he said. "He barely touched him, also. He had two fingers on the shirt and then took them off and security took the guy out. He was an agitator. He was a bad guy."
And Trump accused Fields of lying, saying she "wasn't thrown to the ground," and denying her claim that she almost fell down.
"During this whole incident, if somebody whacks you or gives either of you a shot, you're going to be, 'Wow!' Your mouth is going to open," he said. "You're going to be screaming a little bit. She didn't even change expression on her face."
Trump also repeated his defense of Lewandowski on ABC's "Good Morning America"
and Fox News' "Fox & Friends," telling ABC that he provided security tape to the Jupiter Police Department, and "when she found out I had the tape all of a sudden perhaps she changes her tune."
And the tape shows that it looked like Lewandowski was "trying to push her hand off my arm . . . When you say it's okay for her to touch me, but somebody else can't touch her, you think that's okay? I don't think so. She had a pen in her hand and that could have been a knife. Even a pen, it's dangerous."
And, he told "Good Morning America" that he will not be dismissing Lewandowski from his campaign.
"He is a fine person," said Trump. "He is a very good person. And I don't want to destroy a man, you know, if you let him go, you would destroy a man, destroy a family."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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