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The violence at Trump rallies keeps getting worse. Now a Trump staffer has assaulted a reporter [UPDATED]

Donald Trump: Punchy
Donald Trump: Punchy

[UPDATE: The story just gets uglier. The Trump campaign is calling the allegedly assaulted reporter a liar; meanwhile, the guy caught on video punching a protester has now threatened to kill him. See updates at end of post.]

The latest video of violence at a Trump rally may be the most chilling one yet. In the video from last night (you can find it at the end of this post), a black protester gets punched in the face by a white Trump supporter as he’s being escorted off the premises.

So which of the two men gets wrestled to the ground and handcuffed by security? The protester. Trump’s “security” guards seem to provide about as much real security as did the Hells Angels at Altamont. (Happily, the actual puncher has been charged with assault.)

It’s easy enough to see why these incidents keep happening, and it’s not just because Trump rallies are filled with angry racist shitheads.

It’s also because Trump has indicated, again and again, that he approves of his supporters roughing up, and tossing out, protesters; indeed, on one recent occasion Trump himself said of a protester being tossed out of a rally that “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Now assorted media outlets are reporting that a top Trump aide has assaulted a female reporter.

According to the reporter in question, Breitbart’s Michelle Fields, Trump was wandering around talking to reporters after a press conference. She asked him a question about affirmative action.

Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.

One witness told the Daily Beast that Field’s assailant, reportedly Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski,  had “yank[ed] her down toward the ground like a ragdoll,”

Wait, you may be wondering, did you just tell me that Trump’s campaign manager (allegedly) assaulted a reporter from Breitbart?

Breitbart? The agenda-driven right-wing pseudo-journalistic entity that’s pretty much completely on board the Trump train? The “news” site that once published an article with the breathless, braggy title “Donald Trump Praises Breitbart’s Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle: ‘Very Good Reporter.'”

Well, yeah. Apparently Lewandowski mistook her for a real journalist from a real publication. As the Daily Beast notes,

Lewandowski’s explanation to [Breitbart’s Matthew] Boyle, said these sources, was that he and Fields had never met before and that he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.

Oh, ok then, no harm no foul!

So far, at least according to the most recent news reports I’ve seen, Breitbart has released only a very tepid statement on the alleged attack, noting that “someone” had assaulted their reporter, and that if that someone was Corey Lewandowski, “Corey owes Michelle an immediate apology.”

It seems pretty clear that Breitbart is more interested in its friendly relationship with Trump than it is in the safety of its reporters.

And Trump doesn’t seem to care at all that his freaking campaign manager, according to multiple witnesses, physically assaulted a female reporter whose only crime was asking The Donald a question he evidently didn’t want to answer.

Racist violence is now a regular feature of Trump rallies. Will actual physical assaults on members of the media by Trump staffers become a thing too?

UPDATE: This story just gets uglier by the minute. The Trump campaign is flatly denying that the assault on Fields happened, saying the accusations are “entirely false.” Lewandowski, meanwhile, has accused Fields of being “an attention seeker.” Salon has a useful post with more details.

Fields, for her part, Tweeted a photo of the bruises she says are a result of the assault, and Washington Post reporter Ben Terris has provided more details of the assault, which he says he witnessed.

Breitbart, whose response to the alleged assault was at first rather tepid, now says (through a spokesperson) that “Breitbart continues to stand 100% with Michelle Fields and believes that Corey Lewandowski must accept responsibility for his actions and apologize.” The “news” site has also suspended a reporter who posted a bunch of Tweets seeming to imply that Fields was making up the assault.

Meanwhile, the guy who sucker-punched the protester told Inside Edition that he had no regrets, saying that he liked “knocking the hell out of that big mouth,” adding that the protester “deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”

Slate has more details and a transcript of the interview.

What the hell.

Here’s the video of the protester getting putnched at a Trump rally yesterday:

 

 

 

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Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@Alan

Yeah, I should have put “Vicious” in quotes or said “Vicious at their owners’ behest” or something – being a pittie lover and former shelter worker, you’d think I’d know not to make that mistake, but let’s put it down to being distracted by my anger at dudebro animal abuse. =P

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ SFHC

Oh don’t worry, wasn’t having a dog at you. I was actually echoing the article.

And I completely empathise with anyone losing it over animal abuse or exploitation (which is how I regard the ‘big scary dog’ fetishisation). You may have noticed my usual cold detachment goes right out of the window when that crops up!

Leftwingfox
Leftwingfox
4 years ago

Well, looks like Upton Sinclair’s book “It Can’t Happen Here” is available free on the Gutenberg Project:

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301001h.html

Let’s see how close he got.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Nikki the Bluth Wannabe

And yet my dad wants me to go to a Trump rally, the source of all this violence, in my hometown Saturday.

I hear you. That’s how I ended up at a George Wallace rally.

If you do end up going, please tell us about it.

Although sleeping in might be the more productive option.

Being half German, I also hate that Trump/Drumpf’s giving a sizable portion of my ancestors even more of a bad reputation than they already (and, in the case of the Nazis and the Holocaust, deservedly) had.

Ditto.

On the plus side, younger Germans have largely repudiated the nation’s past. And instead of a Hitler copycat, they now have Angela Merkel, a woman they call Mutti (Mommy). Yeah, probably some of them are being sarcastic—but it’s still quite a change!

Damy
Damy
4 years ago

@Kat

And instead of a Hitler copycat, they now have Angela Merkel, a woman they call Mutti (Mommy). Yeah, probably some of them are being sarcastic—but it’s still quite a change!

Oh please – it’s Bundesmutti (federal mommy). Wouldn’t want to get too intimate…

SCH
SCH
4 years ago

The only positive (very roughly speaking) I can see in all this is that it’s exposing all his supporters for their true colors. It’s depressing that there are so many halfwit sheep these days… 🙁

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

It looks like two of the security guards were black.

They’ve got to be feeling all kinds of conflicted.

And jobs are hard to come by.

weirwoodtreehugger
4 years ago

Lewandowski, meanwhile, has accused Fields of being “an attention seeker.

That’s not a misogynist dog whistle at all, is it? If Hillary Clinton is smart, she’ll be using this to go after Trump. Provided they’re the nominees.

Meanwhile, the guy who sucker-punched the protester told Inside Edition that he had no regrets, saying that he liked “knocking the hell out of that big mouth,” adding that the protester “deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”

That’s lovely. Just swell.

It won’t surprise me if one of Trump’s supporters does do exactly that. And I thought the “let him die!” incident in the 2012 election cycle was the peak of GOP horribleness.

This is me, addressing the me of 4 years ago.
http://33.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m52n7lxqNW1qe7ryk.gif

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

And what’s this about a fire at the Reichstag?

Oh wait–that was 1933.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

sucker-punched

There are obviously a whole host of reasons to find this incident, and the reaction, abhorrent. However, even (and probably, especially) amongst the most macho of male communities sucker punching is usually seen as the hallmark of a complete cowardly shit.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@Alan

Not everywhere – here in Aus, dudebros sucker-punching strangers to show off to other dudebros is such an epidemic that they’ve had to introduce specific laws against it to try and curb the number of deaths.

(In before a lurking troll flips out over “Criminalising male behaviour.” It’s not “Male behaviour,” it’s murder. Bloody misandrist MRAs.)

Jamesworkshop
Jamesworkshop
4 years ago

https://twitter.com/ncroal/status/708109967300169728

Who’s gonna tell her?

WATCH: @MichelleFields tells @TomLlamasABC: Donald Trump should “imagine if I was his daughter”

Saphira
Saphira
4 years ago

All I can think of right now is George Carlin’s speech on how America has a bunch of “dumb-ass mother fuckers floating around this country.” And apparently they’re not only dumb, but violent on top of it. Plus they’re all voting for Trump.

This is scary and embarrassing all at the same time. I don’t even want to know what other countries think of us right now.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Soooo … in an ideal world, this would make any Trump supporter stop and have a little think. The movement around Trump has become so hateful, it’s turning on its own. Being with Breitbart didn’t protect this lady. Being an open Trump supporter isn’t protection from the violence he incites. Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

Well, it should be one of those things, anyway, but for some reason it just isn’t. I haven’t seen the victim blaming stage yet (we’re still at the denial stage it seems) but I’m sure it won’t be long before the story turns into the “well, what did she expect from daring to ask Trump a question without a giant neon BREITBART sign flashing over her head” type stuff. So that every ordinary Trump supporter can be assured that she brought on herself, really, and that certainly won’t happen to anyone who doesn’t deserve it.

DodoHunter
DodoHunter
4 years ago

@Saphira Stupid and violent seem to correlate in general. Not surprising that Trump supporters would be both.

(Although I’ve found SUPPORT of violence is more common than actual violence a lot of the time. They’re cowards or don’t want to get their hands dirty, they just want the pain.)

Huggbees
Huggbees
4 years ago
LindsayIrene
4 years ago

The Guardian has an article about people who are voting for Trump. One is a fifty-ish ‘liberal-left’ college professor is is voting for Trump because he is, quote, angry at social justice warriors. Another Man-Baby For Trump!

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@LindsayIrene

I was about to say “Aren’t “Liberal-left” and “SJW” the same thing? And who even says “Liberal-left,” rather than just one or the other?” but it turns out it was an anonymous email poll. So… Yeah, it’s fake, just bog-standard #NYS sockpuppetry the article writer fell for.

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

Trump is a bit of a “know nothing” candidate. Race and gender are issues on the entire left-right spectrum. The far left even hasn’t really gotten its act together on systemic racism and gender-based violence (and, interestingly, hardcore leftists almost never talk about people with disabilities). Trump appeals to those leftists who like it that he’s an outsider who (rightly) agrees with them on foreign policy but doesn’t challenge their personal privilege or bigotry.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ SFHC

That’s so disappointing, but perhaps not surprising. It’s sounds a bit like the ‘happy slapping’ that seemed endemic here for a while.

At the risk of sounding like one of those grump retired colonels who writes to the Daily Telegraph, what is up with men today? Obviously toxic masculinity is problematic, but they can’t even keep the good bits, like only cowards sucker punch. Mind you, our MRA friends also seem to think it’s acceptable to hit women, so I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
4 years ago

Kat, I definitely think sleeping in would be the more productive option. If my dad tries to wake me up to go, I’ll probably throw my pillow-with “Phillowcase” I got inside a Modern Family DVD years ago-at him. He’s OK with the show but hates Phil, so he’ll really hate me throwing the pillow.
Also, I’m proud of the younger Germans!

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@SFHC:
I love how perfectly #NYS has come to represent that whole “we’re the real feminists” line of bullshit. I hope that when the real of the Gators have been entirely forgotten, that phrase endures.

@Alan:
In my opinion, the problem with men today is capitalism. The old social contract is gone, to be replaced only by a winning-justifies-itself world; and (as ever) social attitudes have followed from economic ones.

If you’re accustomed to game theoretic explanations of things, then we’ve moved from a Tit For Tat-dominated environment to a Hawk-dominated environment.

Stella
Stella
4 years ago

Man, this whole debacle is getting scarier by the day. I’m genuinely worried someone might get killed at one of those rallies. Glad both people are OK.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

It gets worse and worse. You wonder what they’ll justify next.

If people do get killed at a Drumpf rally – or if the cowardly puncher or his friends actually do murder the guy he punched – what justifications and what level of “waving it away” or “look – squirrel!” will be on offer?

I think the way has been paved by a long history of attempting to justify the unjustifiable – any rape victim is of course suspect and probably lying because, y’know, just can’t trust ’em; any black kid murdered by police, the go-to response is “What did he do wrong?” or “He had a photo on his facebook which made him look a bit scary (if you’re already scared of young black males)”. Or, in the UK not so long ago, here’s a photo of the guy looking grim and dead-eyed which turned out, before it had been cropped by the newspapers, to show him standing by his infant daughter’s grave, holding her wreath and understandably not looking terribly smiley.

@ Damy – I think there’s been a lot of complacency, in the UK at least, that because we fought the Nazis it couldn’t ever have happened here, and so we’ll never need to worry about it or anything like it.

In fact it could have happened here, might have done so (opinions vary over how easily), and what happened in the past is not an infallible guide to what’s going to happen in future.

Sometimes it’s better to lose a war than to win it. The Falklands/Malvinas conflict seems to have worked out better in some respects for Argentina (the junta fell) than in the UK – we got a Thatcher landslide.

Leftwingfox
Leftwingfox
4 years ago

It’s not like any of the other republicans are falling over themselves to condemn Trump either. This has to be Obama’s fault too:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/03/the-authoritarian-minds

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

The Republicans, and the press, aren’t going to seriously confront anything Trump does anymore. He’s likely the Republican nominee, and that means they either get in line or they’re ostracized into the political hinterlands during a Trump administration.

I saw the debate last night – no insult slinging, but not much in the way of hard questions. Lots of “please tell us how much you love guns/hate Muslims/etc”; only a few decent questions with no significant follow-up.

In the beginning of the debate, the Republican Party guy introducing made a call for unity with “whoever wins.” Rubio is done, Kasich needs a miracle. It’s Cruz or Trump. The RNC has given up and is settling on a probably-Trump, possibly-Cruz candidate for the election.

That is how I am reading it, anyways!

guy
guy
4 years ago

I’m thinking that if they do make it to a brokered convention, Trump definitely isn’t winning. The Republican establishment needs to make him fail to retain their grip on power. The longshot is that at the convention they can rewrite the rules and pick literally anyone they want, apparently even people who aren’t running. But that would be more an act of pure spite than an actually sensible strategic move, so under the circumstances they’re probably picking Cruz because he’s the only one doing well enough that they’re not just blatantly tearing up the ballots and picking a winner. Their objection to Trump is not on his policy so much as that he refuses to play ball; they can’t let defying them be a winning primary strategy.

A brokered convention is on the table, but barely. Trump needs about half the remaining delegates to get an automatic victory; if delegates were assigned proportionally in all contests then that wouldn’t happen so long as no one else drops out. However, some primaries are winner-take-all, notably Florida and Ohio. If Trump wins both he’s probably the nominee, but Kasich is governor of Ohio and 538 gives him a 62% chance of winning.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
4 years ago

@POM

Your comment has made me realise something. Trump supporters:
1) hold terrible attitudes against women and minorities and aren’t slow to show it. They also wish to kick minorities out of “their space” i.e America through oppressive policies and action
2) are vicious against those who don’t stand with them and are willing to attack
3) when one of their own DOES commit an attack, other supporters blame the victim and claim they’re lying
4) they hate SJWs
5) all of the above is done under a self-announced guise of “freedom” and “make America great”. They hate to be called out for what they really are.

Trump supporters are basically Gamergate all over again, but on a political scale. Christ.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@sunnysombrera;

It really is true, isn’t it? GomerGate, Trump, etc, they all seem like they’re part of an upswell of authoritarian jerkbutts. A reaction to the progressive upswell that’s been happening. They see things happening like the right for LGBTQ people to marry and actual compassion for middle eastern refugees, and they start to realize that they’re being left behind. And they hate it. It’s all just different heads of the hydra, I think.

@guy;

If the Trump slides into a convention with more delegates, and the party doesn’t select him? It’s the end of the Republican party. All of those people who voted for Trump would leave the republicans high and dry. Probably call’em beta cucks, too.

LindsayIrene
4 years ago

Breitbart throws Fields under the bus. Lay down with misogynist dogs, wake up with misogynist fleas.

Drezden
Drezden
4 years ago

And it just keeps getting worse

Once again protester, assaulted and visibly injured, escorted away by police with their hands bound.

runsinbackground
runsinbackground
4 years ago

Here’s a devil’s advocate kind of thought: Trump says that he could walk around Manhattan shooting people at random and he’d still be the Republican nominee, which might be true, but what do you think would happen if someone got shot for showing up to a Trump event looking insufficiently White Pride World Wide? Would it sink him in the general? Would it cause him to stumble enough for Cruz to hamstring him? Somebody ought to think about taking one for the team, if the fate of the world really is at stake and all.

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

@Alan: I tried to hold myself together, but I lost it when they smiled and hugged each other. I just lost it.

As for the rest of this: The world is going to hell in a handbasket right now, and I’m not so sure I want to be here when it gets there.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ paradoxy

Ha, just reading your comment has put some more grit in my eyes. 🙂

But yeah, I always blub at that bit. (I smile when they’re looking out the door though, doing the Scooby Doo gang thing). I regard all animals as people, but the great apes (and Gibbons) are clearly just ‘people people’. ‘Human’ is a very arbitrary (and far too narrowly defined) word.

Zyvlyn
Zyvlyn
4 years ago

@runsinbackground

Are…are you suggesting that someone should attend a Trump rally for the express purpose of trying to be killed?

I try to give the benefit of the doubt to people who put their feet in their mouths and not immediately assume they are a troll, but your suggestion, plus the dismissiveness of saying “if the fate of the world really is at stake and all” has me leaning in that direction.

Would you clarify your comment?

ej
ej
4 years ago

Breaking news!

The Trump rally in Chicago has been postponed because of the number of protesters.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-rally-postponed-chicago-large-crowds-protesters-gather/story?id=37589985

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

I was going to post that if you hadn’t, ej. I don’t remember anything like this happening in my lifetime. I won’t be surprised if there’s protests akin to those at the 1968 Democratic convention over at the Republican convention should Trump be the nominee. It’s going to be in Cleveland which is a more liberal city and is easily accessible to people from all over the midwest and northeast.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

Maybe we should have a mammotheer meetup in Cleveland to protest Trump.

ej
ej
4 years ago

@WWTH

I know. This election is unlike anything we’ve seen. It’s weird for me watching from overseas. I used to live in Chicago, so my Facebook is flooded with the coverage right now. I did also have friends who got some of the free tickets for the rally, with no intention of going. They were just going to let him talk to empty seats.

I do think it’s interesting how this is playing out. I know it’s a safety issue (for everyone), which is why they postponed, but Trump has already shown that he does not want to hear any other opinions. He’s right, end of story. It’s much easier for him to throw out protesters when they are alone or in small groups. He can’t do that with a crowd this large, exercising their constitutional rights. He can talk all he wants about being a winner, but clearly not everyone agrees.

I did see a brief clip from inside the arena with a great protest sign:
“Trump puts ketchup on his hot dogs.”

(For anyone unfamiliar with Chicago style hot dogs, ketchup is forbidden. You are not a true Chicagoan if you put ketchup on a hot dog.)

weirwoodtreehugger
4 years ago

It’s just funny because Trump is always talking about Obama and his foreign policy being wimpy. Yet he’s not even tough to stand up to protesters? I guess the stereotype about bullies really just being cowardly is true.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

The whole thing – the violence, encouraging his supporters to attack protestors, promising to pay their legal fees, cancelling the rally due to “safety concerns” – is being orchestrated by Trump, so he can whip up more fervor among his supporters and portray himself as the strongman who will restore order. It’s reminiscent of the Nixon ’68 playbook, where Nixon promised to cleanse the streets of those violent lefty pacifists and make the streets safe for whites again. It also has a whiff of Reichstag fire about it.

It’s the same tactic AVfM used in Detroit for their first conference, when they alleged that feminists were making death threats and threats of violence against them. Scared people are easier to manipulate and will stay loyal to the strongman. It also allows bullies to keep on bullying, because they’re now the victims. It’s not abuse or harassment, it’s “self defense”, and how dare you question their right to do it.

LindsayIrene
4 years ago

The Chicago Tribune ran a photo of a woman giving a nazi salute outside the Trump rally. She was identified as Birgitt Peterson. Trump supporters on Twitter are claiming it’s really Portia Boulger, who is a prominent Bernie supporter, and that she was a plant to make Trump supporters look bad. I’d hate to see Portia’s Twitter mentions today 🙁
comment image

That’s Portia two nights ago. Below is Birgitt.

http://crooksandliars.com/files/imagecache/node_primary/primary_image/16/03/heil_lady.jpg

I guess all old white ladies look alike.

Drspacejunk
Drspacejunk
4 years ago

Being rightwing didn’t save Fields from the usual refrain of ‘women make things up to seek attention’.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Drspacejunk:
Duh, she stopped being the “Cool Girl” (and became ‘All Women Are Like That’) by breaking the douchebro code by saying a guy harmed her. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — seen this happen so many times, that it doesn’t surprise me anymore.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@LindsayIrene

But… They don’t even look remotely alike. Unless Portia is an international spy and jumped into one of those instant face-changing machines that only exist in the movies.

*Googles out of curiosity*

Well now, you’ll neeever guess who started the rumour (by which I mean he was my third guess after Trump and Milo). Vox fucking Day.

Tragedy of the Commas
Tragedy of the Commas
4 years ago

Anyone else reminded of Bob Heller?

When Warren Ellis wrote Transmetropolitan, one of the criticisms is that he was being too heavy-handed.

Turns out, he’s more prescient than ever.

LindsayIrene
4 years ago

@ SFHC

I wonder if Vox really thinks that the two women are the same person, or if he is just taking advantage of an opportunity to cause grief for a leftist woman.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

@Lindsay

Oh, definitely the latter, with a side order of “Look! There’s Elvis!”-level deflection. He probably typed that tweet one-handed.