How the Lewandowski-Fields incident unfolded
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Video allegedly shows Trump’s campaign manager grabbing a reporter
Video allegedly shows Donald Trump’s campaign manager grabbing Breitbart reporter.
The incident took place at a Trump press conference on March 8 when Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields approached the Republican presidential candidate to ask a question. According to Fields's account, "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."
Following the alleged incident, the Trump campaign issued a statement that read, in part, "In addition to our staff, which had no knowledge of said situation, not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident."
The story gained even more momentum after Washington Post reporter Ben Terris wrote about it.
"I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump's 41-year-old campaign manager. Fields stumbled. Finger-shaped bruises formed on her arm," Terris wrote.
With Trump's campaign denying the event took place, Fields tweeted this picture of her bruised arm.
Lewandowski responded on Twitter that Fields was "totally delusional."
It wasn't long after that an audio recording of the incident surfaced, and as Politico reported, seemed to support Fields's version of the incident and includes the immediate conversation with Terris afterwards.
Despite the campaign's denial that the alleged incident occurred, video shot at the event appeared to show Lewandowski putting his hand on Fields at the event.
Breitbart, the news site that employed Fields, published an article that cast doubt on whether or not Trump's campaign manager was indeed involved in the incident. This led to the resignation of several Breitbart employees, who said the company was not supporting its own reporter.
Fields "felt like my employer was working with the Trump campaign to assassinate my character," she said in an interview with the New York Times after resigning. "They were more interested in protecting Trump and coordinating with him on a message than they were about finding out the truth."
Editor Ben Shapiro was one of the employees that parted company with Breitbart over the handling of the incident.
Shapiro, along with editor Jarret Stepman, national security correspondent Jordan Schachetl, and others, all left the company.
"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," Shapiro said in a statement.
After police in Florida released the surveillance footage of the incident Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to respond:
Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
Why aren't people looking at this reporters earliest statement as to what happened, that is before she found out the episode was on tape?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
Fields responded directly to those tweets with a plea for Trump to stop lying.