tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC April 14, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
it takes a lot of work... but i really love it.s. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost®. good day, everyone. i'm erica hill. broadcasting live from brooklyn bridge park in new york. brooklyn is the site of tonight's biggest showdown between bernie sanders and hillary clinton.
we will have much more on that. but we do want to get you quickly to florida. we will be watching, of course we are waiting for a major announcement out of florida, involving corey lewandowski, campaign manager for donald trump. looks like that is getting ready to start. let's listen in. >> i'm joined by my chief assistant adrian ellis who heads my county court division covering all the misdemeanors, including battery. missi ms. ellis made the legal and factual conclusions i will discuss today. i agree with ms. ellis's statements in her close-out memo, in not charging corey lewandowski in battery. we will make ms. ellis's memorandum available to all of you. it is important to note that despite several media reports,
this matter was never charged by -- are we all good? okay. it is important to note despite several media reports, this matter was never charged by this office. it was charged by the jupiter police department which found probable cause that mr. lewandowski committed simple battery against ms. michelle fields. as is the normal process the jupiter police department made a decision based on probable cause to issue a notice to aper to under lewandowski. afterwards the jupiter police department sent our office a case file and we conducted an independent review to determine whether we would pursue the charges. jupiter police chief and police department do an excellent job in making a charging decision.
we believe that probable cause exists for the jupiter police department to have charged mr. lewandowski in this case. as prosecutors, however, our standard for filing criminal charges is higher than mere probable cause. we have the burden of proving each case beyond a reasonable doubt. in doing so, a prosecutor must have a good faith basis that the evidence presented will sustain the conviction. while the evidence in this case is legally sufficient for the police o to have charged mr. lewandowski, it is not strong enough to meet the legal burden of a reasonable likelihood of a conviction. it is unethical for us to file cases when we believe there is not a good faith basis to proceed. here are some of the facts as stated in ms. ellis's close-out memorandum. on march 8, 2016, news reporter michelle fields was covering a
campaign event in the ballroom at the trump international golf club in jupiter. presidential command date donald trump just completed a press conference. afterwards he left the podium and was moving towards the ballroom exit. he had a number of secret service agents attempting to maintain space between him and the public. the full video recording shows secret service agents clearing the pathway ahead of mr. trump. specifically it appears that ms. fields was directed to the back of the room along with other members of the media. after initially complying with the directive, ms. fields returned to the pathway area and walked directly along side mr. trump attempting to ask questions of him. it appears based on the freeze frames from the video recording and independent photograph taken by a washington post photographer that ms. fields brushed or touched mr. trump's
arm. he then appears to react to ms. fields by pulling his arm back and away from her. at which time mr. lewandowski reached forward and grabbed ms. fields' arm pulling her away from mr. trump. both mr. trump and mr. lewandowski then continued towards the exit at the back of the room. after reviewing the video recording there is no reasonable doubt that mr. lewandowski pulled ms. fields back as she was attempting to interview mr. trump. according to an affidavit submitted by former fbi agent, when tasked with the protection of a political candidate secret service agents will create a protective bubble. this protective bubble is created to prevent unauthorized individuals from getting to close to the person regardless of whether or not they are members of the press. more importantly, under these
circumstances, it is not uncommon for a candidate's inner circle staff member known to the agents to assist in clearing a safe pathway. it should be noted, however, that one agent was positioned directly behind ms. fields and appeared to show no concern over her actions. mr. lewandowski could have called this agent's attention to her movements before taking action himself if he considered her a threat. in addition, soon after the incident, mr. lewandowski publicly denied ever touching ms. fields in any way. although these factors might undermine mr. lewandowski's potential defense, they do not outweigh the reasonable hypothesis of innocence based on the realtime facts and circumstances recorded on the video. as stated earlier, law enforcement arrests are based
upon probable cause. state prosecution, however, relies upon a good faith basis that sufficient evidence exists to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. this includes consideration of any apparent defenses. although the facts support the allegation that mr. lewandowski did grab ms. fields' arm against her will, mr. lewandowski has a reasonable hypothesis of innocence. there is insufficient evidence to rebut these defenses. therefore, although probable cause exists, the state will no file this case. now available for my questions you may have for me or ms. ellis. >> there have been reports -- >> would you talk about -- sorry -- glenda millburg. >> hello. >> will you talk about whether a political atmosphere entered
into what your process was, this was a simple battery case. >> as far as review of this case, it was like any other case. i do acknowledge there is international attention in this case that doesn't exist in just about any other simple battery case. that's why we have a press conference like this. as far as actual work done, review, analysis, it is the same as every case. brian, you have a question. >> there are reports you have attempted to facilitate a deal with mr. lewandowski to publicly apologize, is that true? >> the apology in a case like this would be encouraged. we always appreciate when people take responsibility for their actions. but i can tell you that our decision, ms. ellis's memorandum and our decision in this cased nothing to do with the existence or nonexistence of an apology. >> did you speak with mr. lewandowski, did your office
interview him, before you came to this conclusion? >> since ms. ellis was in charge of that investigation i will turn that question over to her. >> no, no, we did not speak with mr. lewandowski. we spoke with his attorney. >> did you have a personal meeting with him or just over the phone? >> yes. we spoke with him in person as well as over the phone. >> did he try to persuade you not to charge? did he give any reason? >> well he came in with what he believed to be the facts of the case. so he wanted to present what he believed to be the facts of the case and we took that into consideration. >> just one more. did the jupiter police department before they charged him initially because that happened within two days, i think, of the event. did they contact your office or seek advice? >> no. >> that was entirely up to them at that point? >> correct. >> but they later got in touch with you? did you have meetings about how to handle this?
>> jupiter police department sent over the filing packet after charges were filed. when ms. ellis did our own investigation for the office, among other things, she interviewed the lead detective in the case from the jupiter police department. in fact that lead detective was here in this office for more than an hour and a half. >> in addition to the photograph, the statements from ms. fields and the washington post reporter and the jid tape that has been released, is there any other physical evidence that you looked at, any other video tapes we haven't seen, any other photographs that we have not seen? >> no, obviously there was a photograph after wrof a bruise arm that we reviewed and in terms of anything else we reviewed anything else is taken from the actual video surveillance recording. still photographs from the freeze frame shots. >> does that include anything where the secret service is directing her prior to the
actions -- >> absolutely. >> what is that? >> that is -- that is captured on the video surveillance recording. >> and it shows or you can hear -- >> you can't necessarily hear because there is -- mr. trump is leaving ---making his way to the exit. you can't hear what is baeg being head. you hear noise in the ballroom. but on the way out what is capture said her along with other journalists, media, being directed to the back of the ballroom. >> you spoke to that secret service agent that confirmed that is what they telling her. >> no, we did not. >> has anyone spoken to ms. fields today and what does she feel -- >> we both spoke to ms. fields today. i will let you speak to her thoughts. but it was clear us to she was disappointed by the decision. >> how so? >> what kind of message did she
convey to you? >> she wanted prosecution to go forward. >> what about the apology? there was a story if she were to get an apology she would step back and not ask you to prosecute. >> there was no deal where we would drop charges in exchange for an apology. in a case like this, we do encourage an apology. we think it is a good idea. had an apology been given, then this could have possibly been avoided all together. >> was there an apology? >> they showed me a draft for an apology. i don't know the attorneys for the defendant. >> can you tell us what it said? >> i would be paraphrasing. but it is up to ms. fields to show it. >> when was this? >> earlier this week snpz. >> did you speak it ms. fields
as far as the investigation. >> absolutely. >> at length? >> yes i spoke with mrs. fields on three occasions. >> channel 25. >> yes ma'am. >> when you saw the photograph of ms. fields' bruises, did it appear to you it was from the incident in question? >> the initial photos we received were a couple days old. it was a delayed reporting. when i met with the detective in my office afterwards i asked him to see if he could obtain a photograph that was been taken closer in time. she took a photograph where her iphone that evening and there was really nothing there. it was an investigation i wanted him to do to make it a more thorough and complete investigation. but the photographs that we have from her, from the jupiter police department, do show bruising. but you know, it wasn't anything that was anything remotely close
to what we got from her, the actual night that it happened. >> her phone did not show bruising, no. it wasn't until the photographs the detectives picked up a couple days later. >> but that's a quality photo issue, not that there was no injury. >> well that's -- that could be -- what happens when someone is bruised, you know. >> bruise comes up later. >> exactly. >> can you talk about that protective bubble that we s in the memo here and kind of what you said she did that got kind of getting into that bubble there? >> you know, we have a full video. and i think have you that. are we going to show that afterwards? yes, we will show you full video afterwards. >> can you explain what your findings were with watching that video? >> the press was directed
towards the back. there is this bubble. and she makes her way beyond the press area and gets right next to mr. trump and actually makes slight contact with mr. trump. you can see that he sort of recoils and that's when mr. lewandowski comes and grabs her arm. >> mr. state attorney would you say because of that, that in your opinion donald trump has a legitimate claim for -- [ inaudible ] >> it is our belief what we saw in the video that any contact was incidental and that is not contemplated under the simple battery statute. which requires an intentional and unwanted touching. >> how common is it for a police agency to file misdemeanor battery charge like this and your office to decline to prosecute it? >> it happens. it's not that uncommon. we review misdemeanors that come in, charges filed by police agencies, because we ethically have to make a decision whether
we have a good face basis to prosecutor whether there is reasonable doubt. if we know in advance that reasonable doubt exists and we are not able to get a conviction or beyond a judgment of acquittal by the judge we can't ethically file the charges. >> is it, 10% of the time, half the time? how often is it that a police agency files a charge like that and it is declined -- >> as often. we have a domestic violence unit where we review domestic batteries all the time. and instead of them actually arresting the person, they will present us with a filing packet in which case we have to then review the case. a lot of those cases are not filed, as in this case. >> by the way, when she says often or a lot, it is far from a majority. clear minority of cases. >> did you talk to anyone with the secret service directly about the protective level or this incident? >> no, sir. >> there was an affidavit from an fbi agent, but no.
>> your conversationes with ms. fields were in person or on the phone? >> on the phone. >> i'm curious, in some parts of the country, district attorney would determine the state's attorney is elected. did you have any outside political influence here and how are you registered to vote? >> none. my political affiliations are public but they don't come inside this office. we are all elected with a political party affiliation. but once you get to this office and work as state attorney, you're a state attorney for everyone and you have to run the office in a nonpartisan manner. i have three chief assistants here. i have a registered republican, democrat and no party affiliation. [ inaudible ] it's public, i'm a registered democrat. [ inaudible ] >> mr. trump did reach out to
this office. >> who did he speak to? >> a few of us. chief assistants and me. >> what did he say? >> he said that he gave his version of the facts. and his opinions of the case. and then urged us to do the right thing. >> what was his version -- [ inaudible ] >> the version of the facts was that -- >> that she touched him. >> that she touched him and that's it. she touched him and that he did not think that mr. lewandowski should be prosecuted for it. >> did he say whether he felt threatened or scared or concerned? >> no, he just said that he -- that she touched him and all that is captured on the video surveillance. you guys are going to see it. so you know, it was quite evident on -- [ inaudible ] willingly give up the videotape or did you have to twist their
arm to get it? >> jupiter police department had the videotape so we just got from jupiter. >> what was the call from mr. trump? >> couple weeks ago. >> did he make any threat at all that he was thinking of filing a charge geagainst her? >> i don't remember any such threat. i can tell you that the conversation of mr. trump had no bearing of our final decision of the case. just like i said earlier about the existence or nonexistence of apology letter. had no bearing on our decision in this case. what did have the sole bearing on our decision are the facts of this case and the law. >> because there is a -- [ inaudible ] were there any notes or stenographer taken during conversation if it was on speaker phone so we can make a request for those notes or what donald trump had to say? >> i don't believe there are notes taken. if there were, anything subject to the sunshine law would be available to all of you. >> you spoke to several people
at once or -- >> correct. conference call. >> can you, as long time person in politics here locally, can you describe your relationship with mr. trump? how well you know him and what type of events -- >> yeah, i got a kick out of the whole political angle. at first they were saying that somehow i was doing this on behalf of hillary clinton. then they found out i was law schoolhouse mates, drm mates with ted cruz. he and i shared a bathroom first year of law school. i assure you had no impact upon our decision. i knew marco rubio in the florida legislature. and i have met mr. trump on a few occasions. i've been to maralago. last time i was there, there were 800 others there. it is not quite a private setting. i do -- the fact that i have a relationship with several of the people who are running for president has no bearing upon our decision in this case. our decision was made solely on
the facts. solely on the evidence. and solely on the law. >> what law school was that where you shared a bathroom again? >> harvard law school and hastings hall. and i had a reporter call me to question me a couple weeks ago that somehow that was the reason why i did this. and he asked me when is the last time i spoke to ted cruz. i believe it was my third year of law school which would have been about 20 years ago. >> last questions then we will play the video if you're interested. >> m ms. ellis's memo it talks about how sometimes campaign staff can sort of participate in assisting secret service as fo forming part of the bubble. is that written down anywhere? is that codified anywhere? is that just sort of an accepted practice within campaign -- >> i believe that came from the sworn statement from the fbi
agent whom we quote in the memorandum. >> on the politics side, you made it clear that politics was not a factor in your decision but did people try to influence you politically? >> no, absolutely not. >> okay. >> ms. ellis, what's your first name? >> adrian. >> and your title? >> i'm one of the chief assistant state attorneys. >> thank you. >> sure. >> is there interest in the video? okay. >> so we've been listening to the prosecutor as we are learn morgue about the charge of simple battery that we have learned about a couple weeks ago against corey lewandowski. hearing here today that in fact they will not be filing charges and there were important
distinctions made between what sort of hit the level for a charge from a law enforcement perspective. from the jupiter police departments perspective. then the threshold from the attorney general's office. i want it bring in ari mel ber, ari, you and i have been tweeting out details. i feel the prosecutor was very clear when he was laying out why he didn't feel there was enough here for a charge. >> yeah, the headline here as the prosecutor said there is evidence there was unwanted contact and touching between the campaign pan jer corey len do you s you -- manager corey len do you ski. what is new now, and they are setting up to show this video and will explain their decision,
as we await that, what we learned is that the prosecutor basically said that while core did touch her that that in self does not rise to the level of the kind of evidence they would need it say that it was a battle they could win in court. and being able to likely win. so it doesn't mean there is no way he could possibly win, it means it didn't meet the pros he can tour yoel standard, which is higher. other thing i heard which is somewhat new here is the prosecutor took the potential defenses of corey len do you ski seriously that his role as campaign manager within the so-called protective bubble couldly mat jily include providing safety or secure it to donald trump. that's vital. that's security guard or law enforcement def rans it a political aid and indeed that, i think we are going to the
video -- >> they are trying to start it up. i don't know it's working yet. i want to bring in katie tur. you've been there since the beginning of the trump campaign. i know how emphatic donald trump was with you about how he naefe that corey lewandowski should not be charged. have they been talking in terms of reaction from the prosecutor's office. i imagine donald trump is elated. >> we haven't gotten a reaction quite yet. we did ask them yesterday for confirmation of the early political report of this news but they had not gotten back tus on that. donald trump has been very emphatic in defending his campaign manager. you heard the state attorney say so a moment ago that he called the office to defend his campaign manager. that's how he is acting outwardly publicly. but it is in turn a different
story. sources saying there is a real power struggle going on right now. and this incident with michelle fields is part of that including a number of other losses in the campaign. the appearance of corey lewandowski not really playing the role of traditional campaign manager, is something that has been swirling internally among those who feel that donald trump should have somebody a little bit more traditional, more experienced, involved. that's why you saw the higher paul manaford, rick wily, and there is a parallel campaign going on. it is adding layers between lewandowski and trump. i'm told that if corey lewandowski wants to continue traveling with trump, if he wants to continue acting as something of a body man, which is the way they put it, they are fine with that.
they want someone with paul manafort behind the scenes creating or going into the strategy for this campaign. so out wardly it is interesting because donald trump is very emphatically defensive of his campaign manager. but the optics on this have not been lost on the campaign itself, have not been lost on the candidate and not lost in those closest to him. and so, this is a good day for corey lewandowski in a lot of ways. a good day because he won't be prosecuted for simple battery. but it is also something of a bad day because incidents like this certainly have gone to diminish power, erica? >> katy, thanks. i want to call viewers' attention to the screen. it is tough to see where i am. but we are seeing the video prosecutors were talking about. and to be honest i have such a glare on my screen here i can't see. let's listen in. >> you see the agent. >> let me help you out here.
she has assistant prosecutor has a green dot she is putting on the screen pointing out where michelle fields is. you will watch this again when she hits it with the green dot you will see where she is. >> that's her there. this is the back of the room. you can see the whole protective bubble thing as it unfolds. >> this is a portion of the videotape we had not seen. >> so basically all media has been directed to the back of the ballroom as we indicated earlier. for the most part. >> could you show us again with the green dot where she is? >> sure. she is right there. right there. >> she is right there. >> mr. trump and corey? >> they are still in this scrum area. >> that's where donald trump is at the top?
>> yes. he is still in this area here. this is her here. >> so those are all the reporters at the back that have been directed to the back? >> yes. >> okay, now she's walking. this is her, she's moving. >> there we go. >> she's moving. >> she's not making her way back over. now she's going in. this is when she goes into the protective area she is not allowed to be in, basically. this is her here. this is mr. trump here.
>> and corey is behind him? >> so here we go right here. this is where it happens. you see him pull his arm right there. that's mr. lewandowski there. it goes really quick. so we had to play it a few times ourselves just to capture it but you can see where once she gets next to him, she touches him and you see mr. trump recoil his arm. like that. and that is the point in which mr. lewandowski reaches in because from his vantage point he is directly in that area where he can see her arm touching mr. trump. and he then reaches in and grabs her arm to pull her to the side. >> did the fact that she touched him first have any bearing on this office's decision not to charge lewandowski with touching her? >> no.
the fact that she touched him first? >> the fact that she touched trump -- >> oh, yeah. >> have anything to do with the fact -- >> the fact that -- >> the bearing on the fact that you are not charging lewandowski with touching her? >> we're not charging him because he is reacting to what he perceived as a potential threat to someone he is in charge of protecting so to speak. >> when you look at the full video here, you see that she steps away from where the other reporters are and goes down the left part of the screen and works her way up along the side. did you ever ask her whether she was attempting to circumvent the reporter area where she was and that her intent was to somehow slip in there? >> no. i asked her -- she, you know, her -- my conversation with her was basically that she, you know -- did not touch mr. trump.
and -- >> she said that to you? >> yes that she did not touch mr. trump. and that's not what we see captured on the video. >> can you show us again how that happened? you just acted it out a moment ago. she approached mr. trump and what happened. >> she they are walking along and she goes to this area the protective bubble. she goes into that area and she gets along what would be his right side and she is walking directly alongside him and if this hand, her level hand we were able to capture that touches him when she touches him you see him recoil his right arm like this away. and based on the position where mr. lewandowski was standing, his vantage point would have been such that he could see that. so in his mind, it's reasonable to believe, that he had just witnessed, observed, a touching, or her trying to grab on to mr.
trump in some respect. and he then retches in and pulls her away. from an area in which she was not supposed to be in to begin with. >> does it have any bearing there was somebody in between her and -- excuse me, between mr. lewandowski and reaching over somebody and he wasn't leaning on the first line of defense there technically by, correct? have any sort of legal bearing. not like he was right next -- >> no, because his vantage point, he was close enough to where he could see and if you were to see still photos, you could see him looking directly at that point in which she touched him. so he was close enough to where he could see that. as i stated in my memo, if there really was -- if he really felt that, you know, he didn't
have -- that this something that shouldn't have happened, so to speak, he could have gotten the other agent's attention. that's what -- however, you know, in a case like this i think he just kind of reacted and did what he needed to do. >> did he speak to you in any effect about, did he feel that the other agents were -- did he say the other agents didn't see it, weren't paying attention, weren't aware of it? this is what they do professionally. >> no, because -- no, we didn't -- >> we continue live coverage here on msnbc of this press conference with the prosecutor, state's attorney. in west palm florida as talking about charges that were not filed against corey lewandowski. katy tur is also with us. chris hayes in brooklyn. as assistant state's attorney, adrian ellis, put together the memo, going through the video, a
couple of things that stand out. she said that one of the reasons they decided not to charge lewandowski is because from their perception of what they saw and even in conversations lewandowski is reacting to what he perceived as a threat. some of what we are hearing, this differs from some of the accounts or even versions we heard initially. >> that correct. i think that the key takeaways, according to these prosecutors, evidence they've been presenting which we've been listening to, as well as their memo to no file, which we have now obtained, is that they saw corey lewandowski as acting and providing physical secure it to the candidate. that is not his job, secret service does that, but quote from former fbi agent barton brown who submitted affidavit of course sworn under oath is true, that saying at times in this so-called protective bubble that is what senior staff can do. they can help create the space. then the video we're watching now of course now released for
the first time a new angle you see the circle around michelle fields the prosecutor saying this is important because it shows that she was actually told by the authorized agents, secret service who have tremendous authority here in these scenarios she was told to stay over out of that walk way. you see it there in the middle of your screen. that was important because while not originally known in the public discussion of this, that video shows she then essentially did not follow their instructions but then went into the walk way and then you have the back and forth. in addition erica you have what you mentioned, glancing contact between ms. fields and mr. trump before mr. lewandowski grabbed her. what i would say is the key in my view is they have decided that corey lewandowski has a valid defense of providing security. that's key. if he is random person at an event, that battery will stick. but if a jury were to accept or prosecutors believe rather that
he is like a secret service agent then he has more deference in what he chooses to do. >> katy, i want to bring you in here. i know we are awaiting official reaction from donald trump and the trump campaign. we talked about how a lot of reporters are in a pen in certain areas. at events like this, how common is it for the secret service to come over and talk to reporters and say you're in the wrong spot, we need you over here. >> that is not uncommon. i think that there is a real difference between the event we are watching right now and the rallies that we go to. at rallies we are definitely penned in. at an event like this, a press conference, on trump's own property, there is a pen they put the press but when donald trump leaves the stage and walks around and in one of his properties we are free to walk right up to the candidate. secret service is usually surrounding him but there have been a number of situations where you are told one thing but
you are a reporter so you go up and you are trying to get a comment. and there are a number of circumstances where a lot of members of the press including myself have walked right up to mr. trump in that scrum and stood next to him for a white and asked questions as they've been walking along. it is interesting to find out that the way that michelle fields did it is somehow not right according to, i guess, the circumstance where the prosecutors decided not to prosecute this case. but even in this video we are watching, even during night when donald trump walked through that walk way, and into the next room, there were a number of reporters in there and number of reporters who got very close to the candidate and asked him questions. there didn't seem to be a general threat. so it is interesting that this is the way that the prosecutor has decided to rule this case. but it is also very interesting too, remember, this is not the defense that trump campaign put
up in the first place. they said that corey lewandowski never touched michelle fields and were pretty vehement about that. we saw that to not be the case, erica. >> sure and the katy the prosecutor did bring that up a little bit. we are just getting a statement in here too from msnbc from the trump campaign and the campaign manager regarding corey lou went do you ski saying quote corey lewandowski is gratified at dropping the miss demeanor charge and appreciates the professionalism by the palm beach state attorney and his staff who handled this matter, as well as trump and his family at this time. the matter is concluded. chris hayes is here with me onset in brooklyn. as we look at this we started the day looking at the trump campaign and seeing rick wily was brought in. there is a shake-up internally. kati alluded to that and almost this image at least from the
outside that this is becoming perhaps a more serious campaign. donald trump perhaps in light of the issues of corey lewandowski is beefing things up p. how does this play into the narrative for donald trump and wait he runs his campaign and people he chooses. >> this is what happens on campaigns. you don't get fired, just layered. all of a sudden there is just someone the state director reports to. >> now the advance guy. >> it was clear he was being layered. functionally being demoted. as there is an emphasis from shifting from delegates and -- in terms of the regs loosolutio this case, it isn't a legal determination. this is probably seems like the right thing to me. do you want this to be a criminal case? no. but what katy said is key. this thing happens.
two people saw it. michelle fields experienced. she had bruises. he probably grabbed her pretty tough. if he said look, i didn't realize what was going on, didn't realize who you were. shouldn't have grabbed you that hard. instead trump campaign said didn't happen. she is deranged. she makes up people all the time. other people say, if you don't file a police complaint then it didn't happen. so it is distinctive from the reaction to it. so it is a mentality that lewandowski and trump share which is, never back down, never apologize, never see ground. that might not always be the best way to approach every single problem a campaign faces. >> it may not be. but in this case now, you can always bet on the fact that donald trump will say look, i was right. i was right. and you were all trying to paint me into a corner and all telling me to fire lewandowski. but they said, he didn't do
anything wrong he was trying to protect me. >> you're right. but they would have saved themselves several news cycles on campaign manager charged with simple battery if in the beginning he would have said, my bad. >> what happens quickly. how do you see donald trump working this narrative from here forward? >> i think it is interesting the degree to which how close a confidant lewandowski remains for him. robert, last time on my show, say there is still a bond of trust there and this is some indication and i think there is nothing donald trump loves more than people telling him he was right. so i think there will be quite a bit of that. but the structural factor is pushing lewandowski into the center and they will continue to play. >> chris hayes, nice to have you here. we have much more coming to you straight from brooklyn bridge park. we are here in new york on a beautiful thursday. more here on msnbc after this.
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welcome back. as we cover this live decision out of florida. we learning the prosecutor is saying charges will not be filed against corey lewandowski. there for the news conference in the west palm beach, i believe, carrie, you are in the news conference -- oh, i can see you. even better. so as they are going through that video, there was also talk about whether or not prior to release tlag video whether or not the prosecutor's office had spoken with michelle fields. there had been talk yesterday about she tweeted out they asked if she would be okay with an apology and she never heard back. that is an interesting back and forth we heard from the prosecutor. what was the final word on that, carrie? >> i think the thing that is interesting is that michelle fields, according to this state attorney here, did not want to let this go. she wanted this to be
prosecuted. now a lot of people have the belief that when there is a miss demeanor or felony, that it is up to the victim to make the decision whether to prosecutor not. that is not the case. in the state of florida, it is the state attorney's office that decides whether you prosecutor not. if michelle fields on a completely different level said i don't want it participate in any prosecution, the state attorney could still indeed move forward with prosecution. in this particular case, we heard the state attorney say he was not moving forward with a prosecution, that ms. fields had wanted him to pursue a prosecution and she was disappointed that there had been talk about an apology. he said there may have been one drafted by corey lewandowski's attorneys, one that he had seen, but it was apparently in a drst form and he did not want to paraphrase. i imagine ms. fields will receive some sort of apology and will likely share that. i think the other thing most interesting as we are looking at
all of this wass early parts of the video tape where you saw that they pointed out that the reporters or at least most reporters were placed in a portion of the room and then you see michelle fields move first across the bottom of the screen and up along the side. as donald trump is moving down towards leaving the room from the front of the room. i'm a reporter. and i can tell that you this is what we do as reporters. we try to get ourselves into a position where we can ask a candidate a question. and you don't want to be sort of sectioned off where the only thing you get to do is report the moments of someone's speech. you want to be able to ask questions. the of course the real question here is not one of whether michelle fields approached donald trump. it is, according to authorities here, she penetrated that protective bubble and something that experienced reporters and any reporter who spent time on the campaign would understand about stepping inside that area when you're not invited inside that area.
so i think perhaps most interesting about that is when we look at what the notes are from the assistant state attorney here is she says after reviewing video recordi there is no reasonable doubt that mr. lewandowski pulled ms. fields back as she was attempting to interview mr. trump. there we have confirmation. but lower in the document, it says mr. lewandowski could have called his agent's attention to her actions before taking actions himself if he considered her a threat. in addition soon after the incident mr. lewandowski publicly denied touching ms. fields in any way. while this might weight against actions in defeps of mr. trump and this is highlighted and bolded they do not outweigh the reasonable hypothesis of innocence of the realtime video. >> that video tells many stories and pr prosecutors here the story it tells there is not enough to show there was an
actionable case in the courtroom that would win if presented it a jury of a simple battery.show t case in the courtroom that would win if presented it a jury of a simple battery. >> erica? >> kerry sanders, thank you. that memo, interesting that parts of it are bolded and highlighted. rory, appreciate you being with us. i would just like to get your reaction to the finding from the prosecutor's office this afternoon. >> this is insane. we are supposed to be debating who is qualified to be president of the united states of america and instead we are debating whether or not donald trump hires people who are thugs or criminally thugs. this is not what the republican party is about. when you look at donald trump's approval rating with women, he has 75% disapprove rate. this is one the reasons. so prosecutors got their time to be on television and this is
irrelevant. tens of thousands of p em that go no never trump.com. and millions in the republican party who does not support donald trump because he doesn't represent their values are ideology. this is why he is less electable than walter mondale. this is his culture. americans do not expect the president of the united states or white house suhould have a culture like this with the people he hired. >> let me back you up though, you say it is irrelevant but you wrote a piece calling donald trump an indecent candidate. no question this episode occurred as it is widely reported. it is not completely irrelevant if you are talking about it. >> i'm not saying that the incident itself is irrelevant. i think it is relevant as to why donald trump is under water with women in the can untry. i think whether or not the prosecution goes forward is irrelevant. anyone with one eye functioning can look at this tape and see exactly what is happening. and that is not how you treat the press. that is not how you treat another human being. there is is a fabric of
indecency that perm nates throughout the donald trump campaign and it starts at the top with the candidate himself and that is not what people want representing the united states of america yet alone our party and that's why republicans are going to reject it ultimately and why we have somebody who is not donald trump be your nominee going to the fall. >> we're going to have to leave it there. the clocks are telling us we have to go. appreciate your time today. thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back with more coming to you live from brooklyn bridge park in new york. you're watching msnbc. ♪ you should hire stacy drew. ♪ ♪ she wants to change the world with you. ♪ ♪ she can program jet engines to talk and such. ♪ ♪ her biggest weakness is she cares too much. ♪ thank you. my friend really wants a job at ge. mine too. ♪ i'm a wise elf from a far off shire. ♪ and sanjay patel is who you should hire. ♪ thank you. seriously though, stacy went to a great school and she's really loyal. you should give her a shot.
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only with xfinity. just about an hour ago we learned in a news conference from the prosecutors office that charges will not be filed on corey lewandowski. you will recall there was a possible ut after this charge of simple battery after what happened in a campaign event but the prosecutor essentially saying there wasn't enough there to go forward with the court
case. our legal correspondent, ari, is standing by with that. we should point out ari, we haven't heard from michelle fields who is the reporter who is involved in this. we have been checking her twitter feed throughout the hour. we know the prosecutor said she was quote disappointed and wanted this to move forward for its part the trump campaign had said it is gratified by the decision. ari, how would you characterize this from a legal perspective. >> from a legal perspective i would say got news fortd trump campaign is that this prosecutor said there was inis ysufficient evidence, clearing him on battery. as far as that is concerned, it's over. bad news is not so much legal erica as it is factual or journalistic. the prosecutor said that corey lewandowski lied or was untruthful when he said initially he never had physical contact because the legal judgment is that this happened and it is not a crime. >> ari mel ber, thank you.
that wraps up this hour of coverage live from brooklyn but of course it does not end things for us. kate snow picks things up after this short break. be sure to tune into nbc's exclusive town hall double-header. it all happens tonight. john kasich at 7:00. ted cruz at 8:00. tonight at 10:00 eastern, go inside the stop trump movement. and at 11:00, chris matthews for post debate analysis. all here on msnbc, the place for politics.
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