LA CROSSE, Wis. — Hillary Clinton declined to call for businessman Donald Trump to fire his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, after he was charged with battery in an incident involving a female reporter.
But Clinton condemned Trump for his rhetoric and said he is ultimately responsible for what has happened at his events.
"Every candidate has to be responsible for what happens in their campaign, and as I’ve said repeatedly, what Donald Trump has been doing over these last months is inciting violent behavior, aggressive behavior that I think is very dangerous and has resulted in attacks on people at his events and including this charge that was brought against his campaign manager,” Clinton told reporters during a stop at a local brewery.
Clinton praised former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields for pursuing charges in the case.
"The reporter who brought the charge deserves a lot of credit for following through on the way she was physically manhandled at that event,” Clinton said. “And I think that charges being brought today certainly suggests that authorities thought that her story was credible.”
Clinton called the matter a “pending case” and said she would not weigh in on whether Lewandowski should be out of a job.
She added that women in Wisconsin and elsewhere should take these incidents and Trump’s rhetoric toward various groups and women into consideration when they go to vote.
"The message that Donald Trump has been deploying since he got into this campaign has been very negative, and it has pointed out individuals as well as groups of people, his persistent attacks on immigrants, on Muslims, on women, and, in particular, his ongoing insults of [Fox News host] Megyn Kelly, all of that really suggest that he has set the tone,” Clinton said. “And he has incited negative and really mean-spirited language and actions.”
“He has set some fires, and people have acted in ways that I think are deplorable, and, therefore, he has to be held responsible,” she added.