Trump Campaign Manager Accused Of Physically Stopping Journalist From Doing Her Job

This is the latest in string of allegations of hostility toward reporters trying to cover events.

03/09/2016 07:40 am ET | Updated Mar 09, 2016
Joe Raedle via Getty Images
Donald Trump arrives at his Tuesday night press conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, where the attack is alleged to have taken place.

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reportedly grabbed Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields after the Republican presidential front-runner's Tuesday night press conference in Jupiter, Florida. 

Politico reported that Lewandowski "forcibly grabbed" Fields' arm when she tried asking Trump a question as he left the press conference, "moving her out of the way and nearly bringing her down to the ground."

Breitbart News CEO Larry Solov, said in a statement Wednesday that "it's obviously unacceptable that someone crossed a line and made physical contact with our reporter."

"What Michelle has told us directly is that someone 'grabbed her arm' and while she did not see who it was, Ben Terris of The Washington Post told her that it was Corey Lewandowski," Solov added. "If that’s the case, Corey owes Michelle an immediate apology.”

Terris confirmed to HuffPost that he saw Lewandowski forcibly grab Fields' arm, but declined to comment further.  

 

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond for comment. 

Daily Caller senior editor Jaime Weinstein, who is Fields' boyfriend, also identified the attacker as Lewandowski, whom he described as a "thug."

The idea of Lewandowski grabbing a reporter from Breitbart News may seem surprising, given that the conservative website is considered one of the most supportive of the reality TV star's candidacy. But such a response fits a pattern in which the Trump campaign has tried exerting tight control over the media.

The real estate mogul's team has been the most hostile toward the press this election cycle, with some reporters barred and ejected from events. The campaign has also forced journalists to remain in a "press pen" to restrict their movements while Trump is speaking. 

Last month, a Secret Service agent roughed up a Time magazine photographer after he left the pen to cover protesters at a rally. It's not the role of the Secret Service to enforce the campaign's press restrictions, but agents, at times, have appeared to do just that. The Secret Service is still investigating the incident. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Corey Lewandowski, with Trump at an Iowa press conference in August, has enforced the campaign's restrictions on press access.

Lewandowski has personally tried to stop journalists from covering protesters at Trump events, which are a frequent occurrence. 

In November, Lewandowski threatened to blacklist CNN reporter Noah Gray for leaving the pen to report on an incident in the crowd. 

"Tell Noah, get back in the pen or he's fucking blacklisted," Lewandowski told Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, according to The Washington Post

Lewandowski then confronted Gray. 

"Inside the pen, or I will pull your credentials," he said. "Media goes in the pen."

During January discussions with Fox News, Lewandowski reminded the network that anchor Megyn Kelly had a "rough couple of days" after an August debate in suggesting she not appear at the next one. The campaign manager said he'd "hate to have her go through that again," according to the network.

"Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so," Fox News said in a statement at the time. "We can’t give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees."

This article was updated after publication with a response from Ben Terris.

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