It’s been said that fact-checking Donald Trump is a pointless exercise because 76% of what he says is pure B.S. and most of his followers don’t care, but I’m going to go ahead and make the effort here because this is more than the usual B.S., exaggerations, and braggadocio he’s known for. His lies have become increasingly blatant, nasty and desperate, and he needs to be called out for them.
Trump decided to mock former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a town hall in Wisconsin, Tuesday, in a manner that would make an “anti-social 16 year old who needs to be bailed out of jail every couple of weeks” proud.
The Donald was obviously peeved that his thuggish campaign manager Corey Lewindowski was charged with misdemeanor assault this morning, after thuggishly manhandling former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields earlier this month. Especially since his campaign denied it happened, and worked so hard to smear her as a delusional attention whore trying to sell a book..
The only thing a thuggish campaign like that can do when all of its lies have been exposed, is double down and lie some more — and that’s what they’ve been doing all day — in the most clownish and pathetic way imaginable. Seriously.
At the town hall in Wisconsin, Trump took out a piece of paper and read quotes from Fields’ March 10 Breitbart.com column in which she described in her own words what happened, “before she knew she was on tape,” according to Trump. (Although it is Trump and Lewandowski who initially reacted as though they didn’t know they were on tape.)
“‘I was jolted backwards.'” Trump said dramatically. “Was she jolted backwards?” Trump asked his loyal supporters plaintively.
He continued mocking Fields, “someone grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down.” (Brief pause here before the big finish): “Campaign managers aren’t supposed to forcefully throw reporters to the ground!” He added innocently, “Except, she never went to the ground! She never even…flinched!” He then went on to say that based on her facial expression, obviously nothing happened.
Here are the same paragraphs from Michelle Fields’s actual statement at Breitbart:
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.
Notice the lie of omission? Trump purposefully left out that last part of the paragraph because he wanted his audience to believe that she was claiming to have been thrown to the ground. A lot of Trumpers continue to spread that lie.
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.
Even if Trump was done taking questions, Lewandowski would be out of line.
Trump reads this next portion as if Fields was describing what happened to her — not describing a hypothetical:
Campaign managers aren’t supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground, no matter the circumstance.
Notice how he left two key words out? Listen to the tape. Trump said, “Campaign managers aren’t supposed to forcefully throw reporters to the ground!” As if that’s what she was claiming Lewandowski did.
Then he went after the strawman: “Except, she never went to the ground! She never even…flinched!”
But according to eyewitness Ben Terris of the Washington Post, immediately afterward she said “I’m just a little spooked,” with a tear streaming down her face. “No one has grabbed me like that before.” There is audio that corroborates this. And now of course the overhead surveillance video:
This is an open and shut case, prosecutors tell Politico:
The strength of the allegations against Corey Lewandowski revolve around multiple factors that most simple battery cases don’t have: video, audio and eye-witness evidence that indicates he grabbed reporter Michelle Fields by the arm and yanked her out of Trump’s way without her permission.The wording of Florida statute, 784.03 (1) (a) (1), cited by the Jupiter police officer who charged Lewandowski on Tuesday, is also broad and clear when it comes to the charge: “The offense of battery occurs when a person… Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other.”
For veteran defense attorney Elizabeth L. Parker, the letter of the law and the wealth of evidence against Lewandowski make this a tough case for him to defend if prosecutors decide to pursue it.
“You have the most corroborating evidence I’ve seen in a battery case in a long time,” said Parker, who supervised battery cases from 2003-2011 as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County, where the incident occurred.
“It’s not often you get a crime caught on tape. Most battery cases are he-said, she-said. And the police come and the police make a determination. And prosecutors look to see if there’s any corroborating evidence. Are there any injuries? Any independent witnesses? – things like that,” Parker said. “And here we have all of that…. Again, it’s very rare, and it’s a very prosecutable case.”
The whole thing could have been settled quickly and easily with an apology, but instead the campaign chose to smear Michelle Fields forcing her to press charges in order to clear her name. Sad!
Ben Shapiro, the Daily Signal: 7 Important Lessons About The Trump Campaign From The Lewandowski Arrest
David French, NRO: When Liars Lie, the Honest Face Ridicule