Brietbart tries to square the circle about the apparent assault on their reporter, Michelle Fields, allegedly by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. [As the evidence piles up Ace piles on. And on: "I didn't join the conservative movement to become a fascist." Let me just say this - the Trumpkins versus Ace? He's got 'em outnumbered. They will need something stronger than Wheaties if they hope to match up. Or stranger.]
[Breitbart has new video and revised thoughts at their original link; video noted in UPDATES below].
Their gist - it may have been a security guy on the grassy knoll, not Lewandowski [Ben Terris, WaPo eyewitness, stands firm.]:
The Scrum: Video Emerges to Suggest WaPo Reporter Ben Terris Misidentifies Lewandowski in Fields Incident
Contrary to what Donald Trump said Thursday evening after the GOP debate, the incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
As Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson said Thursday on the Fox Business Network, “someone probably did grab her,” i.e. Fields, though Pierson claimed it could not have been Lewandowski.
Audio of the incident, published on Politico, shows Fields asking Terris if the individual who pulled her left arm was, in fact, “Corey.” Terris says it was — an assertion he later repeated in print: “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.”
However, Lewandowski was not the only “man with short-cropped hair and a suit” walking near Trump. And he was walking on the opposite side of Trump from Fields, and Terris.
ABC News also showed video footage, but cut away before the altercation.
In fact, a review of live news feeds — CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN — reveals that all had their cameras focused on Trump at the time. All cut away before the incident — in CNN’s case, mere seconds before — but all could have recorded the altercation, and presumably did.
In addition, video footage of the event has been released by reporter Joshua Chavers of West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV, who was streaming video live on WPTV’s Facebook page.
I would say the WPTV video is suggestive but not conclusive, and none of this explains the boorish reaction from the Trump camp.
And a bonus wrinkle - just from the screencaps presented by Breitbart I would infer that the WaPo eyewitness, Ben Terris, was pushing through the crowd to get closer to Trump as Trump was moving towards him. Did that obscure or affect his vantage point? Time for another booth review.
Oh, brother - if more and better tape emerges proving this was a bum rap on Lewandowski delivered by fellow sure to be characterized as a Trump-bashing media elitist, then yike. Even paranoids have real enemies, and even righties have real fears about a hostile media. Not Helpful to run towards the flames with a can of gasoline.
DISCLOSURES: I am #NeverTrump with a long history of distrusting the media, so take a moment to imagine my angst.
UPDATE: The MSNBC video [commercial free here] shows Terris right next to Fields as Trump passes by, allaying my vantage point question. Fields then shuffles along on Trump's right side to question Trump; an obstacle obscures the camera, and then she is dragged down by mysterious forces. Security guy and C Lewandowski are both in video and re-appear side by side after apparent drag-down, with security guy on the right side; Terris then has an exchange with C Lew.
Unless C Lew and the security guy have extraordinary footwork I don't see how C Lew grabs Fields on her left arm without blocking the security guy. OTOH, the security guy could easily grab Fields' left arm, drag her back, and slide right by.
Terris says he saw what he saw, and eyewitness testimony is reliably unreliable, so what next?
UPDATE 2: C-Span - More video airing at The Daily Beast. [key excerpt here]; 7-10 sec mark here] Ben Terris followed along and maintained an excellent vantage point (I always check the position of the refs during these endless booth reviews). C Lewandowski clearly reached for Fields' arm as the group passed behind the same damn obstacle. Possible remaining spin - the security guy, presumably Secret Service, finished the job that C Lew ineffectually began.
Well. The call on the field is that C Lew grabbed her. Pending more video, there is nowhere near enough to overturn that. But let me add, if C Lew reached and then the security guy finished the job, Terris might easily have missed the second infraction.
However, the prediction that more video will emerge is panning out, so we have that working for us.
MORE QUESTIONS FOR TERRIS: The video shows he had an exchange with C Lew right after the incident. But per his original account, he was hoping to stay out of the story since he had plans to interview C Lew and other Trump insiders the next day. So how likely is it he challenged C Lew right after the incident but hoped to conceal his awareness after the story broke?
ABOUT THAT QUESTION:
Fields: “Mr. Trump, you went after the late Scalia for affirmative action, do you -- are you still against affirmative action?"
AWAITING DEVELOPMENTS: From TK, the Jupiter Police press release and their press website. Well, C Lew ought to be in Florida a few more days. then again, if the security guy is Secret Service (likely) then what do the police do after he says "You're damn right I ordered the Code Red. And delivered it."?