Steven Crowder, the Fox News correspondent who was punched by a protester at a Michigan rally, had allegedly goaded the pro-union activists before the assault.
Though Crowder vehemently denies the claim, witnesses say the Fox News correspondent was getting in the faces of protesters, The Huffington Post reported.
“He was just after everybody,” said Ken Spitzley, a state agriculture department employee, a procurement technician whose workplace is represented by the United Auto Workers. “There was no question he was there just to start a fight, to start some kind of trouble.”
Steven Crowder said his presence at the rally as a conservative was the only thing provoking the crowed, and he was only there to ask them pointed questions about right-to-work legislation. He said the assault was “brutal.”
“I definitely provoked them,” Crowder said. “I was asking them basic questions.”
There is also a dispute about an exchange Crowder had with two men in blue jeans and work clothes. A witness said the men asked if he worked for Amway, the parent company of Michigan business leader Dick DeVoss, and Crowder allegedly joked that he sold soap and they should too.
Witnesses said the statement may have been interpreted as an insult, saying the men needed a bath.
An edited video that Steven Crowder posted of the scuffle shows a man punching Crowder repeatedly and another man grabbing him from behind after he’d walked away. Missing from the video is exactly what led up to the assault and what role Crowder may have played in it.
Steven Crowder is described by Fox News as a “conservative comedian and Fox News contributor.”