On Monday, the political world was turned on its head when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fired his campaign manager. Corey Lewandowski, who oversaw a campaign that generated more Republican primary votes than any in history, also had a penchant for finding himself at the center of controversy. Perhaps the most notable incident was the argument over whether or not he assaulted reporter Michelle Fields when he grabbed her arm at an event earlier this year.
On Tuesday, one day after Lewandowski’s ouster, Newsmax TV‘s Steve Malzberg spoke with Fields. The reporter, who worked for Breitbart News at the time of her encounter with Lewandowski, had what could be called a contentious interview with Malzberg.
When asked about Lewandowski’s firing, Fields said, “I’m not going to say that I’m pleased or happy. I don’t want to celebrate someone losing their income, especially, you know, he has a family and whatnot. But I do think that he probably wasn’t very good at his job.”
The tension in the interview began when Malzberg then said, “You say you don’t want to see him lose his job or his income, yet you tried to put him in jail for grabbing your arm.”
Fields responded, “No, I didn’t try to put him in jail for grabbing my arm. The reason why I went to the police is because there was a lot of disinformation. … Corey said that I was delusional, that he never touched my arm. There were conspiracies that there were no bruises, that this whole thing was just this big hoax. So the reason why I had to go to the police was to get someone who was an outsider, who was objective, to look at the information, and kind of get the videos of what happened, get the pictures of my arm.”
Fields said she told the prosecutor, “‘Look, I don’t want to go to court, all I want is an apology.’ We agreed to that beforehand. They decided not to prosecute.”
Malzberg said, “Wait wait wait wait wait. The prosecutor conducted an investigation with the preconceived condition that there would be no court case, that the prosecutor would aim to get you an apology? That’s what you’re telling me?”
“Yeah, that’s not news,” she said.
“Who is the prosecutor who agreed to this?” he pressed.
“Well obviously he didn’t agree to it because it didn’t happen,” Fields said. “Look I’m here to talk about my book, and I feel, you’re like trying — a lot of this stuff has already been spoken, like, I’ve already talked about this.”
“But you’re not making sense here,” Malzberg said.
Malzberg also questioned the veracity of Fields’ statement during an interview on CNN earlier that day accusing Trump of neopotism for publicly talking in glowing terms about his older sister’s prowess as a federal judge. Maryanne Trump Barry serves on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Malzberg contended that it is only neopotism if Trump appoints her to something, otherwise he is just complimenting his sister. Fields said they would have to agree to disagree in an apparent attempt to change the contentious nature of the interview, but Malzberg’s next question did the exact opposite.
Malzberg cited a passage from Fields’ book, Barons of the Beltway, about the Lewandowski incident. In a section called “A Note to the Reader,” she wrote:
I lost my balance and nearly fell to the ground … That moment started a whirlwind I didn’t ask for and didn’t want, and a story that took on a life of its own.
Malzberg challenged that claim. “I don’t know anybody who has seen the video and agreed with your assessment that you almost fell to the ground,” he said. “And again, you pursued this, and many would say you pursued it for your own PR benefits. … It took on a life of its own because you went to the authorities, you went to the police.”
Fields denied the quoted passage was in her book, which she said she wrote a year ago.
She then ended the interview, citing her full schedule and her contention that Malzberg did not want to talk about the book.