Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, who alleged that Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski bruised her and yanked her to the ground at an event last week, has resigned from the conservative publication along with editor-at-large Ben Shapiro, according to BuzzFeed News.
“Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation,” Fields said in a statement. “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.”
The altercation allegedly took place when the reporter attempted to approach Trump to ask a question. She filed criminal charges against Lewandowski shortly after, but did not receive an apology from the staffer or his billionaire boss, both of whom continued to deny the accusation despite a video showing the moments around the incident. Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery.
Instead of supporting its employee, Breitbart honchos instead opted to downplay the event and back Trump over Fields. In fact, senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak reportedly ordered other staffers to stop defending their colleague and even threatened some with termination.
“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion,” Shapiro wrote in his resignation statement. “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.”
He also said the site management, particularly the present chairperson Steve Bannon, has betrayed the mission of the publication’s founder and namesake Andrew Breitbart. He even went on to accuse “bully” Bannon for shaping the company into “Trump’s personal Pravda.”
As BuzzFeed reports, the relations between the current management and staff, which had already been tense, deteriorated sharply after the site ran a story casting doubts on Fields’ account. Therefore, it is likely that other employees might also follow in the footsteps on these two staffers.