It didn’t surprise me that Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields was allegedly assaulted by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. My first encounter with Lewandowski came at the Republican Jewish Coalition Washington event in December and it wasn’t a pleasant one. It was at the RJC that Trump famously insulted the Jews to their face.
He repeated the old anti-Semitic trope, “I am a negotiator just like you folks.” He then continued with the insults by noting, “You’re not gonna support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians, that’s fine.” I personally was not that offended having grown up in a house where buying retail is considered a sin although many in the room were discomfited.
When I saw the campaign manager walking by while Trump was giving his speech, I could not resist asking him for an interview for the Huffington Post. I naturally threw in I was a Wharton grad hoping that would give me an advantage since the candidate boasts about graduating from there every chance he gets. I still knew that landing the interview was a long shot because, at the time, Trump was covered in the entertainment not the political section of the online media outlet.
Yet I did not the almost violent reaction that I got from Lewandowski. With his arms flailing, he shouted, “Never, Never, especially while Trump’s coverage is in the entertainment page.”
Then, things got even more interesting if you can believe. Since I had only seen the campaign manager on television, I wanted to verify that I was talking to Lewandowski, and not some other man with a buzz cut, by asking his name. Instead of answering Corey, he answered “Brian”.
In light of recent events surrounding Trump, this might seem a minor transgression. But it was a good indicator of things to come. It shouldn’t be surprising that someone that lies to reporters and yells at them for their outlet’s editorial policies would later assault a reporter.
The Washington Examiner’s Al Weaver witnessed some of the skirmish.