Hadas Gold interviews Michelle Fields and her boyfriend Jamie Weinstein, the Daily Caller editor who began the public conversation about an incident with Corey Lewandowski by tweeting “Trump always surrounds himself [with] thugs.”
Michelle Fields says she wouldn’t change how she has handled the events of the past month or so. She only wishes she could go back in time and decline the request to cover a Donald Trump news conference in place of a colleague who was sick.
Then, she told POLITICO over drinks at a Washington, D.C. hotel bar, she would never have come into contact with Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and she would still have a job she loved as a reporter for the conservative website Breitbart.
Instead, she said, she has had to leave that job, move from her apartment because of threats and handle the publicity that comes with challenging a presidential candidate’s campaign machine known for never saying sorry or backing down.
At that March 8 news conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, Fields tried to get Trump’s attention to ask a question about affirmative action as he walked through the crowded ballroom toward the exit, surrounded by Secret Service. But as she asked her question, she was almost immediately moved out of the way by Lewandowski — with enough force to leave bruises on her arm, which she later documented with photos.
Her boyfriend, Daily Caller senior editor Jamie Weinstein, who joined Fields for her interview with POLITICO and has been public about his dislike of Trump, quickly tweeted a message, calling Lewandowski a “thug” and saying that he almost brought Fields down to the ground after she asked a question.
“I thought the best way to force an apology or some contrition was by making it public,” Weinstein told POLITICO.
Fields jumped in here, saying she doesn’t regret that Weinstein tweeted about the incident because ultimately, through the entire drama, it helped “reveal the character of [Lewandowski] and the Trump campaign.”
And that tweet is where the drama and the media frenzy began. Fields placed most of the blame on the escalation of the events on the Trump campaign, for changing their story and questioning her character. She insisted that all she ever wanted was an apology, that she went to the police just to prove she was not lying. She said the media narrative got wrapped up in litigating the details of the case — how hard she was actually pulled, why such a simple act was considered battery, whether she touched Trump first — versus how the campaign was handling what could otherwise have been a quickly resolved situation. And she questioned the tactics and motives of the Florida state attorneys who brought charges against Lewandowski but ultimately declined to pursue a case.
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