Statement Regarding March 10th Incident in White House Briefing Room

(this has been updated on Sunday 3/12 to strike out text in order reflect that while Glenn Thrush and Ashley Parker were to my left during the briefing and immediately before, Glenn has denied witnessing the incident and Ashley hasn’t said anything. I’ll let them speak for themselves). I will leave the original text up in the interests of transparency).

A number of media outlets have quoted several tweets written by me as definitive accounts that  either support or refute Lucian Wintrich’s contention that he was assaulted by Jon Decker of Fox News Radio. Here is my definitive account of what I saw and heard.

Shortly before the 1:30 on-camera press briefing was to begin I was standing next to the second row of seats on the right side of the briefing room. To my immediate left were Glenn Thrush of the New York Times and Ashley Parker of The Washington Post. Standing near me was Brian Karem of the Montgomery County Sentinel.

Lucian, with whom I’ve spoken with on a number of occasions and with whom I am generally friendly (as I try to be with everyone I encounter), approached me while appearing a bit rattled and told me that a reporter from Fox had pushed him and called him a white supremacist back near the coffee machine and break room area. As I asked him if he knew who it was I saw Jon Decker (who I recognized but could not immediately identify by name) approach Lucian from the side (out of his field of view) and grab his arm, ostensibly to get his attention, saying “there are some people I want you to meet” or something to that effect. Jon then began shouting loudly about The Gateway Pundit being a white supremacist website, and listed a number of minority groups that either Lucian or his employer allegedly hate.

I started telling everyone to calm down, which of course did nothing to help the situation. Eventually Jon retreated to his seat and the briefing began.

What I will confirm:

I will confirm that I did witness Jon touch or grab Lucian’s arm. However I will not attempt to speak to how hard the physical contact between the two of them was, because it was not my arm that was touched. I will also confirm that Jon’s voice was raised, he was quite agitated, and that he approached Lucian, not the other way around. And contrary to what Jon said in a statement later that day, I would not characterize the exchange between the two of them as a “straightforward conversation” as much as it was one person shouting at another person without provocation.

What I will not say is whether I believe that any of what happened between Jon and Lucian rises to assault or battery, as a civil tort or a crime, because I am not a lawyer.