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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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 years ago

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

Oh wait–that was 1933.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 years ago
LindsayIrene
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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)
6 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
6 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
6 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.

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