- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2016

A female reporter said she was “shaken” after the campaign manager for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump allegedly grabbed her by the arm and nearly pulled her to the floor during a press conference this week.

Michelle Fields, a journalist for the conservative news site Breitbart, recalled the incident in an op-ed Thursday morning published amid a flurry of reports and allegations that have surfaced in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s event in Jupiter, Florida.

Ms. Fields, a former Fox News contributor, said the candidate was wandering around the Trump National Golf Club after the press conference concluded, “stopping at every reporter to take their questions,” when she attempted to ask him about affirmative action.

Trump acknowledged the question, 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,” Ms. Fields wrote.

“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. I quickly turned around and saw Lewandowski and Trump exiting the building together. No apology. No explanation for why he did this,” she added.



Mr. Lewandowski, a former director for Americans for Prosperity’s chapter in New Hampshire, was “out of line,” Ms. Fields said.

“Campaign managers aren’t supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground, no matter the circumstance,” she wrote. “But what made this especially jarring is that there was no hint Trump was done taking questions.”

Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said in a statement Wednesday that Mr. Lewandoski owes his reporter “an immediate apology” if he was in fact responsible.

Unnamed sources told the The Daily Beast that Mr. Lewandoski admitted his role to Breitbart’s political editor, claiming he mistook Ms. Fields “for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks called Ms. Fields‘ accusation “entirely false” and said the reporter has a “pattern of exaggerating incidents.”

“There are often large crowds aggressively seeking access to Mr. Trump and our staff would never do anything to harm another individual, while at the same time understanding that Mr. Trump and his personal space should never be invaded,” Ms. Hicks said in a statement.

Ms. Fields responded by posting on Twitter a picture of bruises she said she received as result of the incident.

“I guess these just magically appeared on me,” she tweeted to Mr. Trump and Mr. Lewandoski. “So weird.”

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