Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Montana GOP candidate accused of body slamming journalist, sheriff investigating

Montana GOP candidate accused of body slamming journalist, sheriff investigating

(AP Photo/Matt Volz, File). A national poll, meanwhile, found only 21% of voters approved of the Republican bill.

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte said.

Ben Jacobs, a political correspondent for the USA edition of The Guardian newspaper, said in a Twitter post that Gianforte had "body slammed" him, breaking the reporter's eyeglasses, at a campaign event in Bozeman. Gianforte would face a maximum $500 fine or 6 months in jail if convicted.

Sanders will continue his push to elect Democratic candidates in a special House election in Georgia next month.

While Quist has gotten most of his money from individual donors, he has also benefited from independent campaign committees, such as Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee which was responsible for about half of the roughly $800,000 in spending on Quist's behalf.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said authorities are investigating.

Numerous members of Congress have sent fundraising emails for Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte.

The Gianforte campaign Wednesday night released a statement blaming the incident on Jacobs.

Jacobs had walked into the office and asked the candidate about the GOP's health care bill and persisted when Gianforte referred him to his spokesman.

In the recording, Jacobs can be heard asking Gianforte about the CBO score.

"You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacobs said.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement following the incident that Gianforte should "immediately withdraw his candidacy after his alleged violent assault of an innocent journalist".

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While the demonstration was initially peaceful, police and protesters began clashing as the protest neared Congress. But there's a hitch: Officials facing criminal charges are ineligible.

"I'm just focused on the issues that are facing the people of Montana".

Tina Olechowski says Quist was making the rounds across the state to thank volunteers and was on his way to Missoula on Wednesday when the altercation involving Republican Greg Gianforte happened.

In a statement, Gianforte spokesperson Shane Scanlon said the incident was a result of Jacobs being "aggressive" and blamed the reporter for creating a scene.

Republican strategists say they're anxious that the race has tightened, while national Democrats say their polling shows the race has remained out of reach.

While the cowboy-hatted local icon couldn't be more Montanan, his solidly progressive political views make him an imperfect fit for the state - and his rocky personal financial history has given Republicans plenty to work with for attack ads.

Gianforte's opponent Rob Quist said, "I guess that's not for me talk about, I think that's more a matter for law enforcement".

Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for the British newspaper The Guardian, tweeted about the encounter, which occurred at an event in Bozeman.

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys".

Some garbled noises follow before Gianforte speaks again.

But The New York Times dug up an audio recording of Gianforte telling Republicans he was "thankful" that the House passed its bill. "Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground".

"Private GOP polling shows Thursday's contest for Montana's lone seat in the House of Representatives has tightened slightly in the home stretch. Jacobs was asked to leave", Scanlon said. The last time you did the same thing.

The congressional seat, which Ryan Zinke vacated to become interior secretary, has been reliably Republican in the past-so much so that President Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the state by 20 points. Additionally, it should be noted that there is a Libertarian Party candidate in the race named Mark Wicks who has been polling anywhere from as high as 11% to as low as 5%. Gianforte, 56, has campaigned on supporting the president and his agenda and has welcomed Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence to campaign for him in the state.

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