UPDATE: March 30, 2016
Trump’s Campaign Manager Faces Misdemeanor Charge of Battery
Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign manager, surrendered to Jupiter, Fla., police Tuesday to face a misdemeanor charge of battery following a March 8 incident involving Breitbart News Service reporter, Michelle Fields.
Fields, who has since resigned from her position, alleges Lewandowski forcefully grabbed her after a news conference at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.
A new video appears to corroborate her claim:
Lewandowski is scheduled to appear before a judge on May 4.
Trump continues to defend his campaign manager.
“Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge,” he said in a statement. “He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated.”
Trump also tweeted that perhaps he should press charges against Fields herself for touching him.
Why is this reporter touching me as I leave news conference What is in her hand pic.twitter.com/HQB8dl0fhn
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
Original Story Published March 16, 2016
By Sheryl Estrada
Washington Post reporter Ben Terris, (former) Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, center, and Donald Trump following a press conference March 8 in Jupiter, Florida.
Several staffers at Breitbart News have resigned this weekin support of reporter Michelle Fields who was allegedly assaulted byCorey Lewandowski, campaign manager forRepublican presidential candidate DonaldTrump.
Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro informed Breitbart News chair Steve Bannon of their resignations on Sunday, followed by national security correspondent Jordan Schachtel and Jarrett Stepman, an editor on Monday.
“I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways,” Fields wrote in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
A conservative news and opinion website and radio program, Brietbart was founded by the late Andrew Breitbart, whose legacy Shapiro believes has been tarnished.
“Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed,” Shapiro wrote in a statement. “Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew’s legacy. In my opinion, Steve Bannon is a bully, and has sold out Andrew’s mission in order to back another bully, Donald Trump; he has shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda, to the extent that he abandoned and undercut his own reporter, Breitbart News’ Michelle Fields, in order to protect Trump’s bully campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly assaulted Michelle.”
Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager.
Fields, 28, said when she tried to ask Trump a question about affirmative action after a press conference in Jupiter, Florida on March 8,Lewandowski grabbed her arm and forcefully moved her away.
“Trump acknowledged the question,”Fields explained, “but before he could answer I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken. The Washington Post’s Ben Terris immediately remarked that it was Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who aggressively tried to pull me to the ground.”
Terris’article about the incidentrefers to Fields as “a young reporter for Trump-friendly Breitbart News,” and he corroborated her story.
“I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way,” Terris wrote. “He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 41-year-old campaign manager. Fields stumbled. Finger-shaped bruises formed on her arm.”
Fields filed a police report on Friday.
“As with any investigation, specific details concerning criminal investigative information is not releasable while the investigation is considered active,” the Jupiter Police Department said in a statement.
C-SPAN video shows the scene after Trump’s press conference:
Different angle of Michelle Fields, Ben Terris and Corey Lewandowski. pic.twitter.com/bw3uYfHbKY
Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) March 11, 2016
In astatementon Thursday, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Fields’accusation is “entirely false.”
Both Lewandowski and Trump have said she is not truthful.
“This was, in my opinion, made up,” Trumptold CNNThursday night after the Republican debate. “Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened.”
Lewandowski even began a smear campaign against Fields on Twitter Thursday:
Michelle Fields is an attention seeker who once claimed Allen West groped her but later went silent. https://t.co/J86Ej42eYx
Corey Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 10, 2016
Fields fired back at Lewandowski and Trump by tweeting a photo of her bruised arm:
Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 10, 2016
POLITICO obtained a screen grab of Breitbart reporter Patrick Howley’s tweets that appear to have been deleted. He discounts Terris’ article and makes reference to Fields being an attention seeker.
Was sent this screen grab of a Breitbart reporters tweets that appear to have been deleted pic.twitter.com/LGuYqrQwmW
Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) March 10, 2016
When the tweets surfaced, Breitbart issued astatement,which said they were suspending Howley and supporting Fields. But the support didn’t last long.
Breitbart staffers in an internal chatroom were ordered by senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak tostop defending Fields.
The companypublished alengthy articleon Friday, including analyzingthe C-SPAN video screenshot by screenshot, only to conclude that Fields and theWashington Post reporter must be mistaken.
The articles states, “The person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.”
In his statement after resigning from Breitbart, Schactel said the publication promotes Trump.
“Breitbart News is no longer a journalistic enterprise, but instead, in my opinion, something resembling an unaffiliated media Super PAC for the Trump campaign,” he said. “I signed my contract to work as a journalist, not as a member of the Donald J. Trump for President media network.”
Breitbart sent outcease and desist letterson Tuesday to some of the employees who resigned in the past week. The cutting statements do not please the company.
A Breitbartarticlepublished in Octobertitled, “20 Reasons Why It Should Be Donald Trump in 2016” clearly indicates the company’s longstandingdedication to theTrump campaign:
Trump is already changing America for the better and is encouraging us to boldly stand up for our beliefs about what’s best for our nation and best for our fellow Americans.