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Breitbart reporter files police report against Trump manager

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Breitbart, in a top-page post on its Friday online news page, acknowledged after viewing video that reporter Michelle Fields was probably wrong – Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski most likely wasn't the one who manhandled her at a recent rally.


The news site notes that "the altercation itself is not shown" and that "Fields quickly disappears from view, as if pulled back." The site also suggests a security official who resembles Lewandowski may have been the one who pulled Fields away.


In a surprise twist on the fast-moving Friday story, Breitbart reported this, too: Fields filed a police report alleging criminal misconduct on the part of Lewandowski.


The 'Stop Hillary' campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: 'Clinton for prosecution, not president'




But first the acknowledgment: "In conducting our own due diligence," Breitbart's Joel Pollak wrote, "we have reviewed as much video footage and other evidence as possible, and present it in the interest of transparency. ... The incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."


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 wrote: “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.” Relying on an eyewitness account from Washington Post reporter Ben Terris, Fields pointed the finger at Lewandowski.


The Trump campaign, via spokesperson Hope Hicks, then called Fields's account "entirely false," Politico reported.


"As one of dozens of individuals present as Mr. Trump exited the press conference [Tuesday evening], I did not witness any encounter," she said. "In addition to our staff, which had no knowledge of said situation, not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance capture the alleged incident."




Breitbart looked at video feeds of the incident from a variety of news sources and cited one clip released by Joshua Chavers of West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV as well as another from Kristin Taylor of Gateway Pundit as evidence of this conclusion: "Fields was indeed hurt in the altercation and published a photograph of her bruises. Yet the available evidence from WPTV and ABC suggests that it was unlikely that Lewandowski was the person who caused her injuries."


Rather, Pollak went on, "Given the similarity in appearance between Lewandowski and [a nearby security official with a similar haircut], the fact that Lewandowski was walking on the other side of Trump from where Fields was at the time, the possibility of mistaken identity cannot be ruled out. Indeed, given Lewandowski's adamant denials (coupled with statements inappropriately impugning Fields's character), it is the likeliest explanation."


The statement comes just after Politico tweeted screenshots of remarks from another Breitbart reporter, Patrick Howley, who seemed to cast shadows on Fields's account of the incident in his own social media postings. For that, Howley was suspended.


And a Breitbart spokeperson issued this statement on the suspension, Politico reported: "Patrick Howley was speaking for himself and not for Breitbart News. Senior management at Breitbart News believes his comments were inappropriate and has decided to suspend him indefinitely effective immediately. Breitbart continues to stand 100 percent with Michelle Fields and believes that Corey Lewandowski must accept responsibility for his actions and apologize."




Fields, meanwhile, is still fighting back. As Huffington Post reporter Michael Calderone tweeted: "I've confirmed Michelle Fields has filed criminal complaint against Lewandowski."


Calderone followed that with another tweet: "Florida PD says its investigating alleged battery that took place Tuesdasy at Trump National."


Breitbart put out a story about her criminal complaint as well, including the Florida police department release as proof. It read in part: A police report was filed with the Jupiter Police Department ... and the investigation is ongoing. As with any investigation, specific details concerning criminal investigative information is not releasable while the investigation is considered active. Any additional details regarding this incident will be released once the investigation has concluded.


This isn't Fields's first brush with controversy.


Heavy posted an image of a tweet sent out by Lewandowski that included the campaign manager's assertion: "Michelle Fields is an attention seeker who once claimed Allen West groped her but later went silent."


Within the tweet was a photograph of West with the GotNews.com story link about the alleged groping. Those accusations didn't stick and Fields didn't pursue charges.


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