Kurt Bardella resigned Friday as spokesman for media outlet Breitbart News, and he came out swinging today against his former employer, going as far as to say he could not support an organization that lies and isn’t backing its reporter, Michelle Fields. Fields was allegedly assaulted by Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, when he roughly pulled on her arm Tuesday night at a press conference in Florida, leaving bruises. Fields has since filed misdemeanor battery charges with the Jupiter Police Department, despite denials from the Trump campaign about the incident, and witnessed by reporter Ben Terris of Washington Post, the assault is currently under investigation by Jupiter police.
Not only did Bardella confirm to CNN that Breitbart News has lied, but confirmed the media outlet’s pro-Trump agenda, and had harsh words about the whole situation in an interview with CNN‘s Don Lemon.
“This s–t just sucks.”
Breitbart News‘ reaction to the allegations and charges filed seemed to indicate that they were doubtful about the story, according to The Daily Beast release of a statement issued by Larry Solov, CEO and President of Breitbart.
“It’s obviously unacceptable that someone crossed a line and made physical contact with our reporter. What Michelle has told us directly is that someone ‘grabbed her arm’ and while she did not see who it was, Ben Terris of The Washington Post told her that it was Corey Lewandowski. If that’s the case, Corey owes Michelle an immediate apology.”
Bardella has no doubt about the minimizing spin Breitbart is trying to put on the situation, and wasn’t afraid to tell Lemon exactly what he thought was going on with the almost apologetic tone in the statement. He said he disagreed with how they’d been covering the story and how they treated Fields herself, despite the evidence coming forth to support her allegations, which now includes an audio tape of the incident.
“I think that they’ve been looking for a reason to disprove something, when all the evidence from a Washington Post reporter’s firsthand account, to the bruises on Michelle’s arm, to all the photos and video clips that we’ve seen strongly suggest that Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager was the one who did this. And there’s no reason to never support your own reporter.”
Texts released by Media Matters between Breitbart and Lewandowski support Bardella’s accusation of playing down the incident, showing how Breitbart News‘ Washington editor kept referring to it as a “misunderstanding,” even before he got Lewandowski’s side of the story. The tweets were released by Breitbart as evidence to support that Trump’s campaign manager wasn’t aware of the incident, yet show the less-than-impartial relationship between the media outlet and Trump’s campaign.
After confirming he felt Breitbart was lying, Bardella also confirmed the media outlet was “in the tank” for the Donald Trump campaign, as Lemon put it.
“When you’ve gone all in so much for a candidate, when you have that kind of skin in the game, you don’t want to see that derailed,” Bardella told Lemon, who then asked him to confirm again that Breitbart was supporting Donald Trump. “I think it’s been very obvious in the coverage, and again, I don’t think they’ve hidden that, or they would dispute that. They’re are very much pro-Trump, which is personally also something I have an issue with. I’m not pro-Trump. I think that Donald Trump has been a disruptive force in the political and public rhetoric, the discourse of the conversations running the presidential campaign has deteriorated. You are seeing violence and it’s not just an isolated incident. It’s a pattern of behavior, and not — whether it’s a reporter, whether it’s just a spectator, whether it’s a supporter or opposition — nobody is safe. And at what point does somebody draw the line and say enough is enough, and take responsibility for that? You had Donald Trump on not that long ago. He doesn’t take responsibility from it, and it’s completely unbecoming for the president of the United States.”
Bardella’s resignation from Breitbart came just before Trump’s scheduled rally in Chicago Friday night, which was canceled due to a massive gathering of protesters that threatened to take what had previously been smaller incidents occurring within Trump’s rallies, to a much larger scale when protests inside the venue spilled out into the streets in Chicago in mass numbers. With large numbers of protesters both inside and outside the venue, Donald Trump canceled the event due to security and safety concerns. Trump initially canceled his upcoming Cincinnati political rally because of fears of inadequate security, but has now rescheduled it for Sunday.
And yet, Donald Trump still has not denounced the physical violence from his supporters against protesters, blaming the violence Friday night on the protesters and other candidates, even as Trump often encourages physical confrontation during his rallies. That violence has been escalating at an alarming rate over the last couple of weeks, including one African-American woman being pushed and shoved through the crowd in Louisville. Another man that was “sucker-punched” by a Trump supporter, who later said on camera, that next time they see him “we might have to kill him.” Assault and battery charges were filed against the Trump supporter in that incident.
Given the volatile and often physical situations arising within rallies, allegations against Trump’s campaign manager himself for his rough handling of Fields aren’t helping an already tense situation.
As for the newly unemployed Bardella, his future job prospects are uncertain, but it sounds like the former Breitbart spokesman feels he made the right decision about speaking out against his former bosses’ favored candidate.
“Donald Trump makes me embarrassed to say that I’m a Republican.”
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]