Breitbart exodus amid claims of Trump assault

By Cheryl Chumley

Ben Shapiro and Michelle Fields

Michelle Fields, the Breitbart reporter who made national headlines over accusations Donald Trump’s manager Corey Lewandowski manhandled her at a recent political rally, resigned her media position.

Breitbart editor-at-large Ben Shapiro, an outspoken critic of Trump, did the same, out of self-declared disgust at the news organization’s perceived unfair treatment of Fields. Shapiro had been one of Fields’s most vocal supporters in recent days.

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Fields said, in a statement first reported by Politico: “Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation. I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways.”

And Shapiro’s statement, in the same story, accused Breitbart management of acting in a “disgusting” manner that betrayed the principles of outlet founder Andrew Breitbart.

“Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies,” Shapiro said, Politico reported. “But Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed. Indeed, 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. He has shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda, to the extent that he abandoned and undercut his own reporter, Breitbart News’ Michelle Fields, in order to protect Trump’s bully campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly assaulted Michelle.”

Two more staffers for Breitbart also resigned from the company, citing the news site’s pro-Donald Trump stance.

National security correspondent Jordan Schachtel and associate editor Jarrett Stepman sent their resignations to management on Monday afternoon.

“The company no longer resembles the ideals that inspired me to start writing for them three years ago. Some of us have been fighting behind the scenes against the party-line Trump propaganda for some time, but without any success, unfortunately,” Schachtel said in a statement. “Breitbart News is no longer a journalistic enterprise, but instead, in my opinion, something resembling an unaffiliated media Super PAC for the Trump campaign. I signed my contract to work as a journalist, not as a member of the Donald J. Trump for President media network. As recent events have proven, there is no longer a point in trying to reform the company from within, so I must step aside with my dignity intact. I wish everyone at Breitbart the best, and hope the site can redeem the legacy of its founder under much-needed new management.”

As previously reported by numerous media outlets, Fields said she was waiting to ask Trump a question Tuesday as he walked from a campaign stage, when she was grabbed from behind and nearly thrown to the ground. A nearby journalist from the Washington Post, Ben Terris, identified the grabber as Lewandowski, after which Fields’s boyfriend at the Daily Caller weighed in with angry tweeted messages against the Trump campaign. Breitbart subsequently sent out a message in support of Fields, Fields tweeted photographs of her bruises, and a political firestorm erupted, as WND reported.

Fields filed a police report alleging criminal misconduct on the part of Lewandowski.

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The resignations came a day after a new video emerged that was then posted to YouTube of the incident.

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As reported, “Fields has been in the national spotlight and appeared all over political television programs to talk about her ‘assault.’ She even filed a police report about the encounter.”

Specifically, she wrote in her first-person account of the incident, the Washington Post reported: “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.”

Ben Terris with the Washington Post soon after told Fields the guilty party was Lewandowski. Various media feeds couldn’t clarify or confirm.

But the newly emerged video, which gives a full view of Fields during the point of her alleged “assault,” shows a much tamer scene. The clip shows Fields following Trump as he walks from his podium at a recent campaign rally, when a man resembling Lewandowski – who’s only seen from the back – reached out an arm and appears to slightly push her back.

As pundit and author Ann Coulter tweeted, alongside a link to the new video and critical commentary about Fields’s personal account of the events: “It’s beginning to look like Michelle Fields assaulted Trump.”


Breitbart’s website didn’t immediately have a statement posted.

Social media, however, was quick to jump on the latest news.

One using the name Voting Female wrote, BizPacReview found: “Much worse than Brian Williams. This was a left-wing style hoax, By Michelle Fields & Cohorts.”

And another, Milt Harris, tweeted: “Michelle Fields Is An Outright LIAR. Video PROVES !!!!!! How Michelle Fields Hoaxed Herself into Mainstream Stardom.”

And one more, Kelly, tweeted: “‘He threw me to the ground.’ Here you go … @MichelleFields is a FRAUD. The scam is over.”

The blog Danger & Play wrote a few days ago Fields has a book coming out in June.

“She’ll sell a lot of books with this accusation,” wrote blogger Mike Cernovich, on the site.

Meanwhile, Breitbart on Monday hired back reporter Patrick Howley, who was suspended a few days ago for publicly expressing doubts about Fields’ claims.

“I am pleased to announce that I have gotten my job back at Breitbart starting today,” Howley wrote on his Twitter account, the Daily Beast reported. “Thank you for all of your support.”

Sen. Marco Rubio described the accusations against Lewandowski as “one more example of what’s happening here at these events.”

The Florida senator told radio host Mike Gallagher Monday that his presidential aspirations would be over if his campaign manager manhandled a reporter.

“If my campaign manager had done that, my campaign would be over. He would have had to resign, and my campaign may be over. I would have had to quit that very day,” Rubio said.

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