POLITICS

Reporter who clashed with Trump’s campaign now to cover him for HuffPost

Republican candidate Donald Trump and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a 2015 file photo.

Republican candidate Donald Trump and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a 2015 file photo.  (ap)

A journalist who alleged that Donald Trump’s campaign manager grabbed her to keep her away from the candidate at a political event will now be covering the mogul and GOP front-runner for the Huffington Post, according to published reports.

Michelle Fields, a self-styled conservative who previously worked for the news site Brietbart, herself made headlines in March after she said that Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbed her when she tried to get close to the candidate to ask him a question during a Florida event.

The Trump campaign denied the allegations. Fields, who is part Honduran, then submitted a police report and battery charges were filed against Lewandowski, though a prosecutor declined to pursue any action against him.

Fields, who had been covering Ted Cruz’s campaign for Breitbart, expressed displeasure with her employer, whom she said did not appropriately back her during the entire incident.

Fields is to begin her new job on Monday, published reports say.

"After the tumultuous events of the last few months, I am ready to get back to writing and reporting on what is without question the most bizarrely fascinating presidential race of my lifetime (and, perhaps, any lifetime)," Fields said in a statement quoted in various news outlets.

Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim praised Fields, describing her "one of the most widely read chroniclers of the conservative movement," according to CNN Money,  which first broke the story about her new job.

The news site Politico cast the Huffington Post’s decision to assign Fields to Trump “unusual,” given their well-publicized differences and the impact on her credibility. Politico noted that the Huffington Post itself is open about its condemnation of Trump, whom they covered for several months last year in their Entertainment section.

The Huffington Post explained last year  that it considered Trump’s campaign “a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.”

But later in the year, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington announced  the publication would no longer relegate coverage of Trump to the Entertainment section because his campaign constituted a real threat to the U.S. and had to be put under scrutiny.

“By not calling out Trump’s campaign for what it is, many in the media, addicted to the ratings buzz he continues to deliver, have been legitimizing his ugly views,” she wrote in a letter to readers. “We believe that the way we cover the campaign should reflect this shift. And part of that involves never failing to remind our audience who Trump is and what his campaign really represents.”

The Huffington Post attaches a tag to its stories about Trump that denounces the candidate as a "liar," "xenophobe," "birther" and "racist.”

Asked by Politico about the overt dislike of Trump, Grim is quoted as responding: "I'd say that we all have our biases, whether we admit it or not, but as always the work should stand for itself.”

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