Montana GOP candidate accused of body slamming journalist, sheriff investigating

James Marshall
May 25, 2017

The Gallatin County Sheriff's department announced late Wednesday in a press statement that Greg Gianforte would be charged with assault after Ben Jacobs, a reporter with The Guardian, called police and told them Gianforte had "body-slammed" him while the reporter was asking a question in the candidate's campaign office.

"You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacob said.

"We'll talk to you about that later", Gianforte says on the recording, referring Jacobs to a spokesman.

Greg Gianforte campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said the candidate was in a private office Wednesday giving an interview when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission.

'Jacobs was asked to leave. "It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ". The audio recording (listen below) features the sound of a crash and Gianforte saying, "I'm sick and exhausted of you guys". The last guy that came in here did the same thing.

During that conversation, another man - who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian - walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte's face and began asking if him if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.

"You just body slammed me and broke my glasses".

Gianforte: "Get the hell out of here!" Gianforte, a businessman who made millions in technology, is leading Quist, a musician, in polls, but Quist has been gaining recently.

Although the state is reliably Republican in presidential contests, the at-large seat is seen as a possible opportunity for Democrats to chip away at the GOP's House majority and make a major electoral statement six months after their November catastrophe. The race has attracted major media outlets and political players stumping for the candidates, including Vice President Mike Pence, the president's son Donald Trump Jr. and Vermont Independent Sen.

Quist was slow out of the gate, taking a month to get a campaign ad on TV, and he didn't get financial backing from the national Democratic Party until halfway into the 12-week race. Gootkin could not be immediately reached for comment on the donation.

Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault (MCA 45-5-201).

Whitney Bermes from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle tweeted, "Gianforte sitting in a Jeep". But the Democrat has attempted to turn that sow's ear into a silk purse by saying his money problems are related to a botched surgery that rendered him indebted and uninsurable. "Now a medic is at the window talking with him".

And here's the audio from the Guardian, disproving Gianforte's claims. Instead Gianforte focused on the "overall performance". Gianforte doesn't deny it, but rather goes off on tirade about how sick and exhausted he is of reporters.

Acuna said that after Jacobs left "Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized". "It seems like there is more of us than there is of him", according to the Ravalli Republic.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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