Donald Trump’s spokeswoman on Thursday strongly denied an allegation that his campaign manager manhandled a reporter earlier in the week.
“The accusation, which has only been made in the media and never addressed directly with the campaign, is entirely false,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a three-paragraph statement sent to ABC News.
Michelle Fields, a reporter from Breitbart News, was covering Trump’s post-election press conference Tuesday night when the alleged incident occurred, she wrote Thursday for Breitbart.
She wrote that when she tried to ask the Republican presidential frontrunner about affirmative action, someone “grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground.”
The Washington Post’s Ben Terris wrote that he saw the incident and identified the person who grabbed Fields as Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager:
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.
The report is all the more striking because Breitbart, a right-leaning news site, has been one of the most adamantly pro-Trump media outlets.
Though the Trump campaign denied that Lewandowski had grabbed Fields, The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove reported Thursday that his sources said Lewandowski acknowledged to another Breitbart reporter “that he did manhandle Fields,” but “he didn’t recognise her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”
Hicks’ statement strongly suggested that the allegation was “part of a larger pattern” of Fields’ “exaggerating incidents.” Fields responded by tweeting a photo of bruises on her arm.
“I guess these just magically appeared on me,” she wrote.
View the Trump campaign statement below:
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