Democrats launch ads on Montana body-slam

The campaign for the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat accused of attacking a reporter says he was trying to grab the reporter's phone and later both lost their balance.

But a reporter with a Fox News television crew preparing to interview Gianforte said that Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck, slammed him to the ground and then began punching him.

Jacobs was asking Gianforte questions about the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act when audio recorded by Jacobs captured a violent encounter.

Authorities also will interview Jacobs, who says Gianforte body-slammed him and broke his glasses as he was asking questions Wednesday.

Greg Gianforte should not represent Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A Republican running for Congress in Montana was cited for misdemeanor assault after he allegedly "bodyslammed" a reporter for The Guardian newspaper Wednesday on the eve of the state's hotly contested vote. While there are still questions left unanswered about GOP House hopeful Greg Gianforte's altercation with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, eyewitness accounts, law enforcement investigations and records are all shocking, disturbing and without precedent. Gianforte first attempted to redirect Jacobs to a press representative, but Jacobs persisted.

"We'll talk to you about that later", Mr Gianforte says on the recording, referring Mr Jacobs to a spokesman. "The last guy that came here, you did the same thing". Buoyed by massive fundraising and high-profile support from the likes of Bernie Sanders, Democrat Rob Quist had cut Gianforte's lead to single digits.

A person convicted of misdemeanor assault shall be fined not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed six months or both.

"The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault", Gootkin said. Gianforte's words in the moment, coupled with his campaign's response to the allegations afterward, paint an alarming picture of a venomous media climate in which the most mundane acts of journalism have been politicized. Beyond that, if Gianforte didn't have the good and common sense to simply walk away from questions he didn't like, we can not believe he's going to be able to make much more hard, complex decisions when he's in Congress.

She said Jacobs emerged from the room "holding his broken glasses in his hand and said, "He just bodyslammed me".

"T$3 there is no doubt that Gianforte committed an act of awful judgment that, if it doesn't land him in jail, also shouldn't land him in the U.S. House of Representatives".

Jacobs said he is focused on work and will continue to cover the election, but wouldn't rule out additional legal action against Gianforte.

If Gianforte did, as Jacobs alleges, body slam a reporter, it follows on two other recent incidents in which reporters were roughed up for asking questions of public figures.

Some see this race as a referendum on Trump's young presidency.

"His whole campaign seems to be about going after Trump voters, who I think we have a fair bit of evidence now to conclude that they don't like elites, and part of that includes the news media in general, but probably especially media figures who are from far away", he said Wednesday night.

Those who cast early absentee ballots tend to strongly support a candidate or party, Johnson said, meaning many who haven't voted yet could still be undecided - either about which candidate to support or about voting at all. That perception is likely shaped by journalists knowing that the publicly-crazed president who assails the fake news is simultaneously obsessed with coverage of himself.

  • Arturo Norris