Ex-Breitbart reporter: White House accusations against Acosta are 'projection'

Ex-Breitbart reporter: White House accusations against Acosta are 'projection'
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Former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields, who accused then-Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiGiuliani's son, a White House staffer, tests positive for coronavirus Chelsea Clinton blames Trump for Secret Service officers in quarantine More than 130 Secret Service officers in quarantine: report MORE of violently grabbing her during the 2016 campaign, is coming to the defense of CNN reporter Jim Acosta after the White House suspended his press credentials. 

Writing in The Atlantic, Fields points to the Trump administration's use of an apparently doctored video of Acosta refusing on Wednesday to relinquish a microphone to a female intern, whom Fields notes has not publicly accused Acosta of physically touching her.


"[I]t’s unfair to the young female intern who is being thrust into this political maelstrom. As far as we know, she hasn’t accused anybody of anything. It appears that the White House is using her for its own political ends," Fields writes.

"The president has been wanting to escalate his war with the media for some time by revoking a journalist’s press pass, according to news reports. This was a political move by a president who sees the press as a useful political foil," she continues. "If you go to the White House press shop expecting sincerity, you haven’t been paying attention."

Following a heated exchange with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE at a press conference this week, Acosta at first refused to hand over a microphone to an intern. The White House, in defense of its decision to pull Acosta's "hard pass," has released video of the incident that appears to have been sped up and zoomed in to make the interaction appear more violent. 

"And now the same people who claimed I was lying about what happened to me in 2016 are standing behind these ludicrous White House accusations," Fields writes.

Lewandowski was charged with battery over his interaction with the conservative journalist at a Trump campaign rally, though the charges were later dropped by local authorities. Then at Breitbart News, Fields would leave the right-wing news outlet over its handling of the incident.

"I’m not a psychologist, but I’m pretty sure that the term used for this phenomenon is projection," Fields says. "I was accused of doing something I would never even think of doing by people who thought I might have done it precisely because they themselves were capable of doing it. Acosta-gate is the perfect example of this."

Acosta has defended himself after the White House's decision to rescind his press pass, arguing that he did not put his hands on the intern and acted "professionally."

"I didn’t put my hands on her or touch her as they’re alleging. It’s unfortunate the White House is saying this," he said on CNN Wednesday. "I think I handled myself professionally."

The network also came to Acosta's defense, writing in a statement that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “lied” in her explanation by describing an action “that never happened.”

"She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support," CNN said.