Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery after video surveillance corroborated former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields’ claims that she was “grabbed” and “jolted backward” by Mr. Lewandowski. On Thursday, prosecutors stated that the would not move forward with the simple battery charge.
The charge being dropped, of course, does not detract from Lewandowski, as seen on video, grabbing Fields—a claim he initially denied. It also doesn’t change that Lewandowski lied about the incident on numerous occasions. In fact, the campaign manager changed his position on the incident a whopping nine times.
Here’s the timeline:
Position 1: I never touched her. Fields is “delusional” and an “attention seeker.”
On March 11, Lewandowski initially claimed pure innocence: he never touched Ms. Fields; he had never even met her, and she was “totally delusional.”
Moreover, Fields was nothing more than an “attention seeker” with a history of becoming part of the story.
Position 2: It must have been a Secret Service guy.
After the incident was corroborated by Washington Post reporter Ben Terris and Fields displayed the bruises on her arm from the grab by Lewandowski, the campaign manager changed his tune. Lewandowski still claimed that he never touched her, but it was suggested that it was a security officer that did; the allegation presented by Breitbart News was tweeted out by the Trump camp.
At 16:31, Lewandowski and the security official appear in the frame together again — Lewandowski at left and the security official, with earpiece, on the right. Both have “short-cropped hair,” in Terris’s terms.
Position 3: Okay, so maybe I touched her, but it wasn’t a big deal.
In late March, Team Trump was singing a different tune about Lewandowski: the campaign manager touched her—but, come on, he barely touched her.
Per The Daily Mail UK:
‘Before she knew she was on tape, she said: ‘I was jolted backwards!” Trump said, rendering the words in an exaggerated tone.
‘Was she jolted backwards? I mean, if she was, her face stayed the same.’ he insisted.
‘I was jolted backwards! Someone grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. Campaign managers aren’t supposed to forcefully throw reporters to the ground,’ Trump continued, reading from a March 10 account published under Fields’ name.
‘Except she never went to the ground. She never even came – she never even flinched!’
One brief moment in the performance may generate more controversy for the businessman-turned-pol.
Asking whether his audience members had seen the video footage released by police on Tuesday, he asked: ‘What did you think, right? Nothing!’
Position 4: I touched her, but to save Trump from an attack.
After video evidence shows that Lewandowski likely did grab Fields, the campaign manager changed his position yet again: this time, he was a hero.
On March 30, Trump infamously stated that Fields, a small female reporter who was seemingly vetted by Secret Service, was a threat to the frontrunner. Trump explained that the pen Fields was holding could have been a “knife” or a “little bomb.” Seriously.
Of course, no apology was necessary from Lewandowski now, the narrative went, but perhaps Fields should apologize to Trump for being a threat and allegedly making contact with him. Trump even suggested filing criminal battery charges against the reporter.
Position 5: Trump says Lewandowski should probably have apologized, but it wouldn’t have helped.
Speaking to Maureen Dowd in an interview published on April 3, Trump admitted that Lewandowski should have apologized to Fields, but stated that it “wouldn’t have mattered.”
Per New York Magazine:
In Maureen Dowd’s interview, she got Trump to budge on the issue, glacially:
Wouldn’t it have been better, I asked, if Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had simply called the reporter Michelle Fields and apologized for yanking her arm?
“You’re right, but from what I understand it wouldn’t have mattered,” Trump said.
Position 6: I’ll write an apology.
According to Politico reporter Hadas Gold on April 14: “Attorneys for Lewandowksi were working on an apology to Fields earlier this week, but they haven’t sent it.”
Conservative pundit Katie Pavlich also noted on Twitter that “there is a draft apology from Lewandowski to Fields written” according to prosecutors.
But according to the state attorney, there was no such apology:
“Acknowledging ‘international attention to this case, which doesn’t exist in just about any other simple battery case,” Aronberg said Lewandowski could have prevented the blow-up if he had only apologized to Fields.
“’I think that had an apology been given at the beginning of all this, we could have avoided the whole criminal justice process for this matter,’ Aronberg said.”
Position 7: This matter is concluded, I’m innocent.
On Thursday, after the charge was dropped, the Trump campaign put out a statement proclaiming Lewandowski’s innocence and explained that the “matter is now concluded.”
Lewandowski “is gratified by the decision to drop the misdemeanor charge and appreciates the thoughtful consideration and professionalism by the Palm Beach State Attorney and his staff who carefully reviewed this matter, as well as Mr. Trump’s loyalty and the support of his colleagues and family during this time. The matter is now concluded,” reads the statement.
Position 8: Sure, I grabbed her, but I was just being politically incorrect.
On Thursday night, Lewandowski appeared on the Trump-friendly “The Sean Hannity Show” where he equated the incident with political correctness run amok: “Everything is politically correct nowadays,” he lamented.
Here’s that exchange between Hannity and Lewandowski:
“What’s interesting to me is, you’re saying you’ve never met her before, you’ve never talked to her before, and they tried to make a big deal over that fact that, well, maybe he didn’t yank her to the ground, but he said he didn’t touch her, and the tape shows that he might have touched her,” started Hannity, laying the ground work for the “politically correctness” excuse for Lewandowski. “And I’ve looked at that point and said ‘Is that where we’ve gotten to in this campaign?’” said Hannity.
“Well, it’s not just the campaign, it’s this notion of politically correctness,” replied Lewandowski. “Everything is politically correct nowadays, and I think what people have to remember, when they take a look back is, ‘What are we doing right now?’ Everything is so politically correct,” he said, adding, in a tone of befuddlement, that he even “politely” said “excuse me” and “thank you” when he grabbed Fields.
Position 9: I called to apologize but she didn’t get back to me.
As The Daily Wire reported on Friday, Lewandowski, appearing on CNN’s New Day, “claimed that he had tried to contact Fields but ‘never heard back’ and, once again, accused her of trying to ‘inject herself’ into the story.”
“To this day, I have never heard back from Michelle,” said the campaign manager. “She wanted to inject herself into making it a story. Now I’m glad the story is over.”
Fields denied his claim, taking to Twitter to simply write, “No. I never heard from Corey.”
Lewandowski may be cleared from the charge of misdemeanor battery, but he’s clearly a liar. And that alone should put him in good stead with his boss.