GOP Candidate Body Slams Reporter Before Election Day

Elias Hubbard
May 26, 2017

Following the incident two of the state's major newspapers swiftly pulled their endorsements for Gianforte. Jacobs works out of Washington, D.C., for the Guardian, a daily newspaper published in the United Kingdom.

Jacobs says Gianforte then cut him off by saying, "Ya, let me talk to you about that later".

Responses included "Body slamming k*** media members should become standard for Republican candidates". If convicted, he faces a possible maximum fine of $500 or up to six months in jail. The statement added that the reporter's injuries did not meet the legal definition of felony assault.

Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin is a donor to Gianforte's campaign.

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte can be heard saying in the audio tape.

As Jacobs pressed the candidate on the GOP health care bill, "Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him", Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna wrote in an article. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, 'I'm sick and exhausted of this!'

In an audio recording posted by The Guardian, the reporter asks the congressional candidate about the health care bill. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.

"It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ". It ended with Gianforte shouting, "I'm sick and exhausted of you guys".

When Jacobs says that there won't be time, Gianforte says "Just-" and there is a crashing sound. Scattered cheers could be heard in the crowd as Gianforte motioned for them not to applaud.

"I've heard too many versions of it", Steiner said. Reporters asked why Gianforte had not been detained, and the sheriff said his deputies "got busy with the witnesses and the victim", and Gianforte left.

Others at the event corroborated the version of events - including a crew from Fox News, the most viewed United States cable news channel and a favorite of conservatives.

He emerged only at his victory celebration Thursday night, where he said he accepted responsibility for the incident.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called on Gianforte to resign late on Wednesday, saying he is "unhinged".

Private GOP polls showed a close race earlier this week, with Gianforte projected to have a slim, single-digit lead. The incident has drawn extra attention to the race to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, considered a bellwether, in its final hours. "And if a candidate for Congress can't do that, then he definitely doesn't deserve to have that position".

Gianforte sitting in a Jeep.

The alleged scuffle led cable news outlets throughout the night on the eve of the election and also was the top trending topic on Twitter.

On 4chan, an online message board credited with launching the alt-right, threads about the incident frequently turned anti-Semitic, with comments like, "One day our patience will come to an end and then we will grab these insolent Jews by their throats and stuff their lying mouths shut!" and "Should've stomped the Jewlet".

Wicks offered his take on what happened.

Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said Thursday he will set aside celebrity and hype and look at the facts surrounding Greg Gianforte's altercation with Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. "We are committed to holding power to account and we stand by Ben and our team of reporters for the questions they ask and the reporting that is produced".

"I was disappointed to see he flew off the handle like that", she said. Instead Gianforte focused on the "overall performance".

It is seen as a key test of whether rural voters who helped send Donald Trump to the White House in November are sticking with him.

Republicans have hammered Quist with nearly $5 million in ads, hitting him for property tax liens and unpaid debts. I was very surprised last night.

Repeated phone calls to Gianforte's cellphone went unreturned. According to The Associated Press, with 98 percent of the vote in, Gianforte was winning 50 percent to Quist's 44 percent.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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