Reporter resigns, says Breitbart didn't stand by her Trump allegations

Colleague Ben Shapiro also resigns in solidarity.
By Andrew V. Pestano  |  March 14, 2016 at 8:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Michelle Fields and colleague Ben Shapiro resigned from conservative media website Breitbart over the outlet's response to Fields' accusation that Donald Trump's campaign manager assaulted her.

"Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation," Fields wrote in a statement received by BuzzFeed News. "I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways."

Fields accuses Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of grabbing her arm and pulling her nearly to the ground during a press conference in Florida earlier this month. Trump said Fields may have fabricated the story and Lewandowski called Fields "delusional."

After the incident, a Breitbart reporter seemingly questioned Field's allegations. The reporter was suspended and Breitbart's chief executive issued a statement supporting Fields and calling on Lewandowski to apologize.

Fields filed a criminal complaint against Lewandoski last week. Fields previously released pictures of bruises on her arm and Washington Post reporter Ben Terris wrote a story saying he witnessed the incident and spoke to a shaken Fields immediately after it happened.

However, Breitbart then published images questioning whether Terris properly identified Lewandowski as the person who assaulted Fields and later published an article with alleged email messages between Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle and Lewandowski that "prove" he did not assault Fields -- an incident Boyle called a"misunderstanding."

Breitbart published its own account of the incident, suggesting it may actually not have been Lewandowski who grabbed Fields, but a security guard who was dressed similarly and serving as Trump's body man at the event.

Shapiro said Breitbart should be "ashamed" of itself.

"Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion," Shapiro said in a statement. "Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski. This is disgusting."

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