After being called “delusional,” a serial liar, and a potential assassin by the Donald Trump campaign, Michelle Fields has told The Daily Beast all she still wants from campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is an apology.
Palm Beach County, Florida, prosecutors announced on Thursday they would not prosecute Lewandowski for the charge of simple battery after he grabbed Fields’s left arm hard enough to bruise it after a campaign event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on March 8.
Lewandowski told CNN on Friday morning he called Fields on the morning of March 9 but she did not pick up.
“I've reached out to Michelle and I've provided my phone records to show that,” he said. “If she wanted to have a conversation, she could have reached out to me directly or the office. That never took place.”
Fields said she would have taken up Florida prosecutors on their offer to drop the case if Lewandowski offered a public apology. That did not happen, but Fields today told The Daily Beast that she would still like an apology from Lewandowski.
“I would just like an apology for defaming my character,” Fields said on Friday. “That’s what I wanted from the very beginning. I never wanted this to blow up, never to end up leaving my job. I just wish they had done the right thing from the very beginning and we could all have moved on.”
“Instead, the Trump campaign defamed me,” Fields said, adding that she’s even been driven from her apartment thanks to death threats.
If the campaign is responsible for ruining her life, does that apply to Trump as well?
“I don’t think him personally. I think him and Corey handled this very poorly and defamed my character. If you’re trying to be the president, you should have the responsibility that the buck stops with you.”
After denying the incident ever happened for weeks, the Trump campaign suddenly changed its strategy to protect Lewandowski to one of essentially self-defense.
“She was grabbing me,” Trump claimed on March 29 after police arrested Lewandowski for battery, “and just so you understand, she was off base because she went through the Secret Service. She had a pen in her hand, which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb.”
"I didn’t touch him. I didn’t grab him,” Fields told The Daily Beast. "In that sense he’s responsible for defaming me when it comes to that situation.”
Trump’s self-defense line would be enough to make jurors believe the state could not prove Lewandowski guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office explained Thursday.
“Mr. Lewandowski may have had apparent authority to assist in the protection of the candidate, specifically to maintain the ‘protective bubble’ around the candidate,” Chief Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis wrote in a memo explaining the decision not to prosecute. “While the facts support the allegation that Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields’ arm against her will, Mr. Lewandowski has a reasonable hypothesis of innocence.”
For now, Fields is weighing her professional options, having resigned from Breitbart News after the company appeared to side with Trump over her.
“I realized that my company didn’t have my back,” Fields told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly. “I can’t stand with a company that won’t stand for me.”
Of her plans, Fields told The Daily Beast, “Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m taking it day by day and trying to put what happened behind me, then I’ll figure it out.”
“I have a great group of friends and a great family and a great support system,” she said. “Yes, there are people who go on TV and assassinate my character, but there are also really good people and good journalists who are trying to shed lights on the facts and that keeps me optimistic.”
Despite Lewandowski not facing prosecution, Fields said that something positive has come from the highly publicized incident.
“I think a lot of people realized the character of the Trump campaign as a result of this. That to me is a victory.”