How do you think this will play out? A reporter was grabbed at one of Donald Trump’s rallies and is now pressing charges…but who was really the aggressor?
Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been charged with simple battery for allegedly grabbing a reporter, in a case that may hinge on a Secret Service claim that the journalist first made unwanted physical contact with the billionaire-turned-politician.
‘The news conference was over, was done, was finished and she was running up and grabbing and asking questions,’ Trump said talking on his plane to reporters when he touched down in Wisconsin this afternoon.
Trump had previously tweeted a similar line asking followers, ‘Can I press charges?’
The misdemeanor case stems from an incident involving Lewandowski and now-former Breitbart.com reporter Michelle Fields.
After Trump’s March 8 press conference at the Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter, Fields walked alongside him to ask a question and later said Lewandowski grabbed and bruised her, an account the aide initially denied.
Jupiter Police released surveillance footage on Tuesday giving the public an eagle-eye view of the incident where the grab at Fields is clear.
But speaking on condition of anonymity, a member of Trump’s Secret Service detail told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that Fields touched Trump twice – and was warned by agents to stop – before Lewandowski pulled her away.
‘She crossed in between agents and our protectee after being told not to,’ said the agent, who was present that night in Jupiter.
The aerial footage from inside the country club ballroom, which is a series of still photographs taken at steady intervals, doesn’t capture Fields making contact with Trump. But it shows him apparently pulling his arm away from her.
‘We supplied those tapes and those tapes to me are very conclusive,’ Trump told journalists this afternoon.
Read more: Daily Mail
Here’s what Piers Morgan had to say about it, do you agree with him?
This morning I woke in Los Angeles to breaking news that Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had been arrested and charged with ‘battery’ over an incident with a female reporter, Michelle Fields.
His alleged crime was to assault Ms Fields as she attempted to interview Trump when he walked away from a news conference in Florida.
Helpfully, the police issued new video of the ‘clash’, illustrating very clearly exactly what happened.
The footage lasts just a few seconds and shows Ms Fields displaying commendable bravura as she approaches Trump to fire questions at him.
Crucially, DailyMail.com has now established from a member of Trump’s Secret Service detail that in the process, she touched Trump twice and was warned by agents to stop.
Lewandowski, walking a few steps behind his boss, saw this happening (he may well have heard the warnings too) and raced forward to prevent her asking more questions and put himself between Trump and the reporter.
At this point, let’s forget the gender of the journalist.
In this glorious age of equality, it shouldn’t matter – right?
Battery is battery – regardless of the sex of the victim.
Lewandowski can be seen putting his arm up to block the journalist. In doing so, he also appears to grab her arm for less than a second as he moves on.
This is all rather different from what Ms Fields herself claimed had happened when she wrote about it for her then employer, Breitbart.com: ‘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. Nevertheless I was shaken. Campaign managers aren’t supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground.’
I’ve watched the video multiple times and cannot conceive any sensible interpretation that he is committing any kind of deliberate assault.
Lewandowski wasn’t trying to hurt Michelle Fields, he was trying to stop her getting to Donald Trump. If one of the Secret Service agents had done it, as they had every right to do given her behaviour, they’d have been applauded for doing their job.
Like every journalist I know, I’ve spent much of my career being pushed, shoved, elbowed and barged in crowded places when trying to get near famous people.
By making such a grotesque mountain of such a tiny molehill, Michelle Fields has embarrassed herself and let down her profession.
Toughen up, young lady – or choose a different job.
Read more: Daily Mail