"Corey, good job, Corey," Donald Trump said on Tuesday during his latest election night "press conference," during which no questions were taken. He was talking to his trusty campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. "Good job."
Lewandowski doesn't usually stand by Trump's side during election night addresses. He's typically offstage, either watching or bossing people around. But there he was tonight, following Trump's wins in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina, standing immediately to his candidate’s right.
This was not an accident. It was a display, and a vile one. Lewandowski was accused of aggressively grabbing Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a Trump event last Tuesday. She was bruised. The Trump campaign first denied that anything had happened, smearing Fields as either dishonest or delusional. Breitbart, Fields’ own publication, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Trump campaign, refused to fully defend its reporter, arguing instead the most likely explanation was that a Secret Service agent had grabbed her. Eventually, video emerged that showed Lewandowski lunging for Fields. Fields filed a police report, and she and a number of other Breitbart staffers resigned—all while the campaign continued to deny that Lewandowski had anything to do with it. And this week, Politico published a report that suggests such behavior is entirely within the realm of possibility for Lewandowski, who allegedly referred to a coworker as a "cunt" in front of fellow employees at Americans for Prosperity.
Look at Lewandowski, grinning, as Trump referred to the assembled press as “disgusting reporters, horrible people” tonight.
What were Lewandowski and Trump doing on stage together, in front of all those cameras, laughing it up? They were sending a message: We can get away with it. It was grotesque.