Who is Greg Gianforte?

Before the charge was announced, Gianforte's campaign blamed the altercation on Jacobs' "aggressive behavior", and offered a version of events at odds with the audio recording and witnesses.

In an audio recording posted by the newspaper, Gianforte can be heard saying that he was "sick and exhausted of you guys" and to "get the hell out of here". Gianforte can be heard yelling. The last time you came in here you did the same thing! "Get the hell out of here". "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined", reads the statement, in part.

"Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face".

Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian, approached former technology executive Greg Gianforte at a meet-and-greet event at the candidate's office in Bozeman, according to Jacobs and fellow reporter Alexis Levinson of Buzzfeed News, who was nearby and heard the commotion.

Late Wednesday, Fox News correspondent Alicia Acuna reported that she and her crew witnessed the incident and saw Gianforte grab Jacobs "by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him". "As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, 'I'm sick and exhausted of this!'" Acuna wrote.

Said everyone in the entire world: You fucking kidding us with this shit? He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names.

That's why The Billings Gazette editorial board is also doing something without precedent: We're rescinding our editorial endorsement of Greg Gianforte.

She said "the last thing we need is one more guy who flies off the handle".

"Hey, you gotta leave", another man responded.

Political reporter Ben Jacobs alleged that Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, "body-slammed" him at Gianforte's campaign headquarters near Bozeman, breaking Jacobs' glasses in the process. He later called into MSNBC and said that he was getting his elbow - which may have been injured during the altercation - X-rayed at a nearby hospital.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Department said only that it was "currently investigating allegations of an assault involving Greg Gianforte".

Montana voters are heading to the polls Thursday to decide a nationally watched congressional election amid uncertainty in Washington over President Donald Trump's agenda and his handling of the country's affairs.

The special election for that seat, which was vacated by Republican Ryan Zinke upon his appointment to United States secretary of the interior, will be held Thursday.

Spending looks likely to reach $18 million in the fast moving, 85-day shootout, a record for the seat and double what was spent in the 2016 race.

Montana's contest pits a wealthy businessman - Gianforte, who narrowly lost the race for governor previous year - against Quist, a locally famous singer-songwriter and political neophyte.

The vice president is urging Republicans to turn out in the May 25 House race.

The Gianforte campaign released a statement, saying that Jacobs entered a private office without permission. Republicans, already on edge about the possibility of a wave forming that might endanger their House majority in 2018, view a win in Montana as a way to settle their nerves and push back against the negative national narrative - particularly with the special election in Georgia's 6th District next month looking like a dicier proposition for the party. In early ads, Quist defended himself against NRA attacks by polishing a vintage Winchester rifle, which he says he's owned since "long before Greg Gianforte showed up from New Jersey".

  • Zachary Reyes