Donald Trump, Michelle Fields and the Pen Bomb.

C.J. Chivers
Mar 31, 2016 · 2 min read

On The Washington Post, Philip Bump frisks Donald Trump’s suggestion that Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields might have been an explosive menace when she approached him earlier this month, only to be forcibly pulled away by a senior member of his staff.

Mr. Trump’s suggestion followed questioning from CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the arrest of the Republican presidential front-runner’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on charges of battery for grabbing Ms. Fields, an act caught on security-camera footage made public this week. Mr. Trump ventured that his man, who bruised Ms. Fields’ arm, was actually protecting him.

“She had a pen in her hand,” he said, “which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb or…”

Real bombs being serious matters, this statement prompted Mr. Bump to check around for information about very small bombs and to write an interesting blog post, which also covered initiators and blasting caps. His question, basically, came to this: A Pen Bomb?

Perhaps he’ll consider this post a comment. The history of sabotage and assassination devices, and of booby traps, does in fact include a rich assortment of nasty little bombs, many of them concealed within seemingly harmless objects. Technical literature in one of the ordnance archives we use here at The New York Times shows many examples, including of pen bombs. One is below.

Variant of a pen bomb.

Was Michelle Fields carrying any such device? The first answer is: Of course not.

Maybe the better answer can be found in a different section of the same archive.

Behold, then, another foul device: The Horseshit Bomb. (Seems to be a thing.)

Horse turd bomb; blasting cap inserts in bottom.

Written by

Reporter, @nytimes & @NYTmag.

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