Michelle Fields, the Breitbart News reporter who accused Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of having “grabbed” her last week at a campaign event, quit the conservative news site, BuzzFeed News reported.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Fields said:
“Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation. I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways.”
Fields tweeted a link to the BuzzFeed story and added “I can’t stand with an organization that won’t stand by me.”
I can't stand with an organization that won't stand by me: https://t.co/pohxCKScpf
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 14, 2016
Breitbart News editor Ben Shapiro also resigned over the controversy, telling BuzzFeed in part:
“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion. Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly-evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski.
“This is disgusting. Andrew never would have stood for it. No news outlet would stand for it.”
iMediaEthics has written to Breitbart editor Joel Pollak for comment on the resignations.
On Friday, Kurt Bardella resigned as spokesperson for Breitbart News and Fields filed a police report against Lewandowski. Lewandowski, Trump, and campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks denied the accusations against Lewandowski despite a video and audio tape showing the moments around the alleged incident. The Daily Beast published video it said “definitively shows Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbing Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields’s arm as she attempted to ask the candidate a question following his speech.”
Last week, Breitbart suspended Patrick Howley indefinitely for his “inappropriate” comments on Twitter questioning Fields’ claims. Breitbart seemingly walked back its defense of Fields’ allegations on Friday, suggesting perhaps it was someone else who grabbed their reporter.