TGP On Scene Report: Trump Spokeswoman Denies Reporter Grabbed on Arm By Manager Lewandowski

The Gateway Pundit posted video showing Corey Lewandowski politely cutting off questions from reporters Tuesday night. While not conclusive, it shows the tenor of the evening and that others in the media were also filming.

Hope Hicks, spokeswoman for the campaign of leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump issued a statement Thursday denying allegations that Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields had her arm grabbed and bruised by campaign manager Corey Lewandowski following Tuesday night’s post-primaries press conference in Jupiter, Florida.

Trump Hope Hicks Michelle Fields Corey Lewandowski
Image via ABC News/Twitter.

The accusation, which has only been made in the media and never addressed directly with the campaign, is entirely false. As one of dozens of individuals present as Mr. Trump exited the press conference I did not witness any encounter. 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.

This individual has never met Corey, nor had the only reporter that supposedly identified him. 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.

“This person claims she does not want to be part of the news, and only report it, however if that was the case, any concerns, however unfounded they may be, should have been voiced directed first and not via Twitter, especially since no other outlet or reporter witnessed or questioned anything that transpired that evening. We leave to others whether this part of a larger pattern of exaggerating incidents, but on multiple occasions she has become part of the news story as opposed to reporting it. Recall she also claimed to have been beaten by a New York City Police officer with a baton.”

In apparent response to the Trump campaign statement, Fields posted a photo of a bruised forearm on Twitter addressed to Trump and Lewandowski.

“I guess these just magically appeared on me @CLewandowski_ @realDonaldTrump. So weird.”

Fields published a statement at Breitbart earlier Thursday on the incident.

…Addressing the gathered reporters and the nation at large, Trump was in an especially jovial mood Tuesday night. The networks just declared he had won the Mississippi Republican primary and, during his speech, that he won Michigan Republican primary as well.

I wasn’t called upon to ask a question during the televised press conference, but afterwards Trump wandered around, stopping at every reporter to take their questions. When he approached me, I asked him about his view on an aspect of 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.

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…

The Washington Post‘s Ben Terris also reported Thursday on the incident.

…When Donald Trump descended into the crowd after speaking Tuesday night, the instinct to defend kicked in.

As security parted the masses to give him passage out of the chandelier-lit ballroom, Michelle Fields, a young reporter for Trump-friendly Breitbart News, pressed forward to ask the GOP front-runner a question. 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.

“I’m just a little spooked,” she said, a tear streaming down her face. “No one has grabbed me like that before.”

She took my arm and squeezed it hard. “I don’t even want to do it as hard as he did,” she said, “because it would hurt.”…

The Gateway Pundit contributor Kristinn Taylor covered the press conference Tuesday and posted several photos from the presser including ones of Trump surrounded by the media.

Herehereand here.

Trump Jupiter Press Conference Media Scrum 1 Trump Jupiter Press Conference Media Scrum 3 Trump Jupiter Press Conference Media Scrum 2

Photos of Trump engaging the media before his press conference by Kristinn Taylor.

After the press conference, Trump stopped and took several questions from CNN’s Sara Murray. Murray challenged Trump on the delay in announcing a list of foreign policy advisors for his campaign.

After Murray followed up, Lewandowski firmly, but politely and non-violently, shut down further questions.

Note: This is apparently the only video of Lewandowski that has been posted from after the press conference, even though just about every media person had cameras and/or smartphones recording every move by Trump that night.

I was not in the media scrum with Fields and did not witness the incident. I followed the scrum out in to the hallway by a minute or two after Trump was done speaking to Sara Murray. Trump was gone.

I remained for about a half-hour talking to other reporters and taking more photos. No one mentioned anything about a reporter being manhandled. The first I learned about it was the next day in media reports.–KT.

UPDATE: Politico reports on purported audio–audio not video–of the incident.

(Ambient crowded room noise.)

…Fields: “Mr. Trump, you went after the late Scalia for affirmative action, do you — are you still against affirmative action?”
Voice (allegedly Corey Lewandowski): “Excuse me, thank you.”
A few moments later (noise of the room can be heard)…
Terris: “You OK?”
Fields: “Holy sh*t.”
Terris: “Yea he just threw you down.”
Fields: “I can’t believe he just did that that was so hard. Was that Corey?”
Terris: “Yeah, like, what threat were you?”
Fields: “That was insane. You should have felt how hard he grabbed me. That’s insane. I’ve never had anyone do that to me from a campaign.”
Terris: “Can I put that in my story?”
Fields: “Yeah, go for it — that was really awful. That’s so unprofessional.”
Terris: “He really just almost threw you down on the ground.”
Fields: “He literally went like this and was grabbing me down. I don’t even what to do [about] what he just did to me. Oh my God, that really spooked me that someone would do that.”
Terris: “What threat were you?”
Fields: “Nothing. I was asking about affirmative action.”
Terris: “And he probably knows you, right?”
Fields: “Yeah, I don’t understand. That looks horrible. You’re going after a Breitbart reporter, the people who are nicest to you?”
Terris: “I know, I’m going to put it in my story.”
The two stop talking. Din/noise of people talking, glasses clinking continue through end of the recording.”

Politico has not published the actual audio recording.

UPDATE: Politico published the audio recording Thursday evening. The question is posed by a female voice and then after ten seconds the questioner comments with profanity. No cries of pain, shouts of indignity or demand for an explanation or apology can be heard in the ten seconds.

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