Ben Shapiro, Breitbart’s former editor at large, spoke to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts over the phone about the assault charges against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski arguing that they "absolutely" validate former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields’ allegations that Trump’s campaign manager grabbed her. They both left Breitbart following the incident.
THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC HOST: We want to go now to Ben Shapiro, he’s joining us by phone. Ben is the editor in chief of the "Daily Wire." He is the former editor at large of Breitbart News.
Ben, good to have you with me. I just want to show everybody your former employer’s website, and they have been leading with this news on their home page about this charge against Corey Lewandowski. When we look now at what the police have reported about the charge and the video, does that validate the original allegation of Michelle Fields?
BEN SHAPIRO, EDITOR IN CHIEF, DAILY WIRE (via telephone): Yes, absolutely. Her story has been absolutely consistent from the beginning. Corey Lewandowski grabbed her by the arm, he yanked her hard enough to bruise her. She lost her balance for a second, she regained it.
I mean, she never claimed that he ground and pounded her. She never claimed that – that he beat her bloody. And it’s amazing how the campaign tone has shifted on this. It went from she was never even touched by Corey Lewandowski, she’s essentially an attention seeker, to, well, he didn’t grab her that hard and if she was really that bad why doesn’t she file a police report. So, she files a police report. And now it’s, well, they’re out to get him.
I’m sorry, but none of this washes. This is a lying, lying, lying campaign. All they do is lie from the beginning and then they lie about their lies, and then lie about having told lies about their lies. And this is just a monster of a – of the fact that they are deeply dishonest and willing to smear anybody in their pursuit of power.
ROBERTS: So, we’re looking at the Breitbart home page right now with their headline about the charge with misdemeanor battery against Michelle Fields. You left Breitbart along with other members of that team in support of Michelle Fields because of the way you thought the employment, or her employers were treating her. We know that Fields directly responded to one of Trump’s tweets just an hour ago saying, quote, "Because my story never changed, seriously stop lying."
And we know that Lewandowski had replied to Fields’ earlier posting of bruises after the alleged incident. Lewandowski wrote, "You’re totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you." From your experience in working with Breitbart and also knowing how these campaigns operate, could this have been de-escalated with a simple apology?
SHAPIRO: Absolutely. I mean, I know Michelle, I spoke with Michelle, and Michelle did essentially ask for an apology and she was refused one, and that’s why this went the way that it did. I mean, all the – all the Trump campaign had to do here was say, we’re sorry that happened, it shouldn’t have happened. Instead it turned into, not only is Michelle Fields lying about this, but again, she’s an attention seeker who makes up stories simply so that she can become prominent.
It really is disgusting how the Trump campaign is willing to slander, particularly women, in order to get ahead. And it – again, should demonstrate to people of decency that this is not a campaign that – that ought to be supported.
I mean, frankly if you’re a – look, I’m a conservative, I’m a very conservative guy, and – and the Trump campaign is making your job over at NBC really, really, really easy in terms of going after conservatives and Republicans if he’s the standard bearer for conservatism.
ROBERTS: When we look at the larger issue, Ben, with the freedom of the press or the relationship between the Trump campaign and the treatment of reporters, do you think that anything will happen to Lewandowski? Do you think that Donald Trump will make a change…
ROBERTS: … with campaign managers?
SHAPIRO: No one – no way in hell that Trump does anything adverse to Lewandowski. Katrina Pierson apparently was already out there saying today that what really needs to happen is that reporters need to back off from the Trump campaign.
And I think, look, if Donald Trump had Cory Lewandowski, Lewandowski to my knowledge had never appeared on stage with Trump at any of his prior post – post victory sessions. He had Lewandowski appear alongside him after he won on Super Tuesday and then specifically singled Lewandowski out for praise and ripped reporters. Trump has no capacity to back down when he’s wrong, and – and that’s one of the great flaws of him as a human being and with his campaign as a whole.
ROBERTS: So, that was March 15, Super Tuesday that you bring up, this alleged incident happening a week before on March the 8. So, if you’re saying that Trump is basically insulating and rewarding a behavior demonstrated by Lewandowski, how do you think that voters are going to respond to this with Wisconsin coming up and the other primary states to go?
SHAPIRO: I mean, between the Trump campaign attacking Heidi Cruz and the – and this new attempt to – to smear again Michelle Fields after tape has now come on conclusively proving that she was telling the truth, I don’t think that voters are going to – to see Mr. Trump in a very kind light, nor should they.
ROBERTS: All right, Ben Shapiro. Ben, thanks for joining me, being formally of Breitbart News, now the editor in chief of the "Daily Wire."