GOP Candidate Charged With Assaulting Reporter Right Before Election

A reporter for The Guardian says he was "body slammed" by Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte.
Posted at 10:35 AM, May 25, 2017

A GOP congressional candidate is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after he allegedly body slammed a reporter the night before a special election. 

The incident involved Montana Republican Greg Gianforte and Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs

A recording posted by The Guardian includes sounds of a scuffle, after which someone the paper claims is Gianforte shouts: "I am sick and tired of you guys! The last guy that came in here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! ... Are you with The Guardian?"Jacobs responds, "Yes, and you just broke my glasses." 

The Guardian says Jacobs attempted to ask Gianforte a question while he was being interviewed by a local TV station.

Gianforte's campaign claims Jacobs aggressively pushed a recorder into Gianforte's face and the candidate tried to grab the device. The campaign says Jacobs then grabbed Gianforte's wrist and turned away, "pushing them both to the ground."

But other journalists who were at the scene are backing up Jacobs' assault claim. One reporter for Fox News says she saw Gianforte grab Jacobs by the neck, throw him down and then punch him. 

Three local newspapers pulled their endorsements of Gianforte soon after news of the alleged incident broke. 

Gianforte is running to fill Montana's lone House of Representatives seat vacated earlier this year by Ryan Zinke. The election takes place Thursday.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated a statement by Gianforte's campaign. The campaign claims Jacobs grabbed Gianforte's wrist, not that Gianforte grabbed Jacobs.