White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today that he's "confident" both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush would have fired Corey Lewandowski, the embattled campaign manager to 2016 candidate Donald Trump.
The Jupiter Police Department charged Lewandowski with simple battery Tuesday for a March 8 incident involving ex-Breitbart news reporter Michelle Fields. In the video shared by the Florida police, Lewandowski is seen pulling Fields away from Trump by her arm.
"I am confident that neither President Obama nor President Bush would tolerate someone on their staff being accused of physically assaulting a reporter, lying about it, and then blaming the victim," Earnest told press Wednesday, adding that Lewandowski's behavior is "completely unacceptable."
In addition to saying he has no intentions of dismissing Lewandowski, Trump has attacked Fields, suggesting that the former Breitbart reporter was a threat, and his campaign manager was acting to protect him.
Trump asked if he could press charges against Fields over the incident.
Earnest added on Wednesday: "Nobody is particularly surprised that that’s the behavior that Mr. Trump doesn't just seem to tolerate, he seems to encourage."
Though Obama and Bush come from different political parties, the White House spokesman said he believes the two men could agree about firing Lewandowski.
"Assaulting a reporter is wrong, assaulting women is wrong, and the accusations that have been raised about Mr. Lewandowski's conduct go directly to those core values," he said. "I'm confident that they — despite our many disagreements on a range of other issues — I'm confident that they would agree with me on this one."
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