Updated: A Fox News reporter, who witnessed the altercation between Greg Gianforte, a candidate for Montana’s open House seat, and a Guardian reporter, offered an eyewitness account. It’s worse than even the audio makes it sound:
At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of “I’m sick and tired of this!”
Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.
To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.
As for myself and my crew, we are cooperating with local authorities. It is not clear if charges will be filed against Gianforte at this time.
Tomorrow’s special election in Montana was supposed to be a tight race in a Republican state. The GOP candidate, Greg Gianforte, was a slight favorite over a local folk singer, Rob Quist. Things, however, are up in the air after Gianforte BODY SLAMMED a reporter from The Guardian who attempted to get Gianforte to comment on the CBO score for the GOP health care bill. (WashPo)
Here’s the account from The Guardian, whose reporter, Ben Jacobs, was body slammed.
Here’s the audio. The “liberal” reporter didn’t sound that aggressive, but Jesus Christ, Gianforte sounds like a mad man.
Meanwhile, the police have been called in, and are investigating. The GOP is going with this strategy, because it’s all they have left.
Quist's message should be that Gianforte is so scared of Trumpcare that he'd rather assault a reporter than answer his question about it.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) May 25, 2017
This should be Quist’s strategy (and it’s a good one).
Just talked to a GOP strategist who basically endorsed this statement as a political strategy. Can't apologize now. Rally base is only move https://t.co/HeqoFkhqwl— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) May 25, 2017
Given the state of politics in America right now, I am legit worried this will actually help Gianforte.
In other news of the political variety,
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