Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields each took to television Sunday to give their perspective on the aftermath of their now-infamous interaction at a March rally.
Fields said that during the rally, Lewandowski had grabbed her hard enough to leave a bruise, while Lewandowski claimed that he never touched Fields, calling her “delusional.” Fields resigned from Breitbart after the site failed to support her, while Trump defended his campaign manager’s actions amid calls for Lewandowski’s firing. Video ultimately released by police showed that he did grab her, and Lewandowski was charged with battery.
However, Florida prosecutors announced last week that while they determined that Lewandowski did grab Fields, the evidence was not strong enough to criminally prosecute. A key part of their determination was based on Fields’ leaving an assigned press area to enter a protective area around Trump. The charges were dropped.
On Sunday, Fox News’ Chris Wallace pressed Lewandowski about his initial statement claiming he never touched her.
“Do you now acknowledge that you did touch Ms. Fields and that she is not delusional?” Wallace asked.
“Well, no,” Lewandowski said. “What I acknowledge is the sum total of my relationship with Ms. Fields was caught on that videotape. She’s an individual I had never met before, had never spoken to before.”
The campaign manager insisted that the exchange was neither violent, nor “memorable.”
“The whole incident lasted less than three seconds and was me moving from one location to another location,” he told Wallace. “I would have remembered if I had tried to violently throw someone to the ground or if there were an incident that would have been memorable. And there wasn’t.”
Lewandowski then maintained that he tried to contact Fields in the aftermath of the incident, and was ready to put what had happened behind him.
“And I tried to contact Ms. Fields after I read on her boyfriend’s Twitter feed that something took place that evening,” he said. “So you know I am happy that the Palm Beach County District Attorney has decided not to move forward with any charges. I’m happy that this is behind us and I’m happy to move forward with the campaign.”
Wallace noted that Fields said she has no record of Lewandowski ever trying to contact her via phone or message, and that the Palm Beach prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to go forward with the case. The host also mentioned that Fields was contemplating whether to file a civil suit for defamation against Lewandowski and Trump.
“Are you prepared here and now to apologize to Ms. Fields for touching her and for saying that she was delusional?” Wallace asked.
“Here and now what I’d like to say is again I’ve never spoken to Ms. Fields,” he told Wallace. “I’ve turned over my phone records to the Palm Beach County District Attorney’s office. It clearly shows I called her phone number that evening when I got back and read about this on the Twitter feed.”
Lewandowski declined to apologize, saying he did not recall interacting with Fields.
“I’d be happy to have a conversation with her. But to apologize to someone I’ve never spoken to and candidly don’t ever remember having any interaction with is something that is a little unrealistic right now… I’d be happy to have that conversation if we could put this thing behind us,” he said.
On a different network, Fields said that while she “would at least like an apology from the Trump campaign,” she did not expect to receive one.
“Corey lied,” Fields said on CNN. “Donald Trump lied. They defamed me. And they went on this huge smear campaign against me and I think it sheds light on the character of the campaign.”
Fields refuted Lewandowski’s claim that he had tried to contact her and said she would not rule out a defamation suit.
“I’m not going to rule it out,” she said. “Do I think they defamed me? Absolutely. Corey said that he hadn’t met me, he had never touched me. We know that that’s a lie … I think they were trying to defame me and I think it shows malice.”
“I think that the Trump campaign tried to paint me as a villain,” Fields said. “But I think there’s a lot of smart people in America that see right through this and they see that they defamed me.”