Greg Gianforte wins: Republican apologizes to reporter who accused him of assault
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 22:42
Greg Gianforte, right, and wife Susan, center, celebrate his win over Rob Quist for the open congressional seat at the Hilton Garden Inn Thursday night, May 25, 2017. Eventually, after Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, KECI reported on the incident.
Mr Gianforte did apologise after being declared the victor, according to AP.
Before a ballroom full of cheering supporters at the Hilton Garden Inn in his hometown of Bozeman, Gianforte said late Thursday night he's going to Washington, D.C., to "drain the swamp and fight for Montana families". I should not have responded the way that I did.
Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, jumped into headlines across the U.S. Wednesday night after political reporter Ben Jacobs accused him of "body slamming" him during an attempted interview. And for that, I'm sorry, Mr.
"Rest assured, our work is just beginning, but it does begin with me taking responsibility for my own actions", he added. This keeps Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's former seat in the GOP column, and represents another close-but-no-cigar result for Democrats, who are mostly contesting special elections in strong Republican areas where seats are vacated by Trump appointees.
Gianforte secured 51% of the vote while his Democratic rival Rob Quist took 43%.
"Great win in Montana", Trump told reporters as he arrived in Italy for a meeting of the G-7 nations as part of his first foreign trip as president, The Hill reports. Three of Montana's biggest newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte and Democratic lawmakers publicly scolded the GOP's candidate.
During the vote Democrats on the streets of Missoula expressed outrage. But the White House wouldn't say Thursday whether Trump or Pence still endorsed Gianforte after the alleged assault, and Paul Ryan called on Gianforte to apologize. In a statement, Gianforte's spokesperson, issued a statement claiming that Jacobs entered the headquarters without permission and was the aggressor in the situation.
The Guardian's Ben Jacobs had tried to ask him about the Congressional Budget Office's score of the House Republicans' health care bill.
"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte said in the recording. "Get the hell out of here!"
Ryan's campaign spokesman congratulated Gianforte early Friday.
Jacobs entered the office uninvited, and "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face, and began asking badgering questions", the campaign said, as it blamed the incident on "aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist".