Congressional Candidate Assaults Reporter

Elias Hubbard
May 26, 2017

Twice it sounded like someone picked up then immediately hung up. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon. No one answered the door at Scanlon's home.

Wait - what? In one of the most weird, hard-lined political opinions anyone has ever heard, Gianforte doesn't believe that people should ever retire.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, has campaigned for Quist.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the congressman had failed to show any dignity and called him "a wannabe Trump".

"We are literally in a dog fight right now", said a Montana Republican familiar with the race.

Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate in Montana, has been accused of body-slamming a political reporter.

"Usually when people say "the press is under assault" they are speaking metaphorically", quipped Jeet Heer, a senior editor at The New Republic.

The contest for Montana's only congressional seat was triggered after the sitting House Representative, Ryan Zinke, quit his job to become Donald Trump's secretary of the Interior Department.

Gianforte's office offered a decidedly different account, saying Jacobs encroached on "a separate interview in a private office" and "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face".

In a leader comment, the Billings Gazette's editorial board said it was "at a loss for words".

The term "Gianforte" was trending worldwide on Twitter, appearing in more than half a million tweets by early Thursday ET. "So that was wrong, and it should not have happened".

"Some people who were on the fence about voting, they might come out (now)", he said.

"The last guy did the same damn thing", Gianforte said.

Montana has just over 699,000 registered voters. Gianforte had been issued with a charge of misdemeanor assault.

"Yes", Jacobs said. "You just broke my glasses". Period. He assaulted a reporter. "Unless the reporter deserved it". The election is being held to fill the single House seat of the state. Levinson said that the body slam came out of nowhere.

When asked if he would pursue legal action against Gianforte, Jacobs said, "I haven't even begun to think about it".

Acuna, her field producer and photographer then "watched in disbelief as Gianforte began punching (Jacobs) as he moved to top of the reporter". He got on me and I think he hit me. "Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground", it added. Gianforte, gesturing to a reporter, responded, "It seems like there are more of us than there is of him", according to a report in the Helena Independent Record.

The campaign confirmed that a physical confrontation had taken place, but not as Jacobs detailed it. An audio recording from The Guardian of the incident doesn't include Jacobs being asked to lower the device.

A Fox News team also present during the alleged assault wrote about it afterward.

The incident in Bozeman happened when Jacobs sought to question Gianforte about healthcare, according to an audio tape captured by Jacobs and played on MSNBC and CNN.

"The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault", Gootkin said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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