The candidate for Montana’s congressional seat has been charged with assault after he allegedly slammed a reporter to the floor while shouting “get the hell out of here”.
In a bizarre series of events Greg Gianforte, a wealthy software entrepreneur, erupted under questioning and attacked the Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.
Sheriff Brian Gootkin said in a statement: “Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses, Jacobs tweeted, as he reported the incident—witnessed by three Fox News journalists—to police.
“Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanour assault.”
Republican candidate charged for assault of journalist
Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 24, 2017
A Fox News team who witnessed the incident said: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.
“I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this’.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) called on Mr Gianforte to “immediately withdraw his candidacy” from Montana's House special election.
The DCCC statement said House Speaker Paul Ryan “should not waste another minute before publicly denouncing their candidate and apologising for the millions of dollars they spent on his behalf”.
Gianforte's team released a statement blaming the reporter, it said: “Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face, and began asking badgering questions.
“Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.”
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