Montana GOP Candidate's Assault Charge Hangs Over Tight Special Election

Montana GOP Candidate's Assault Charge Hangs Over Tight Special Election

Unofficial results show that Gianforte handily defeated Democrat Rob Quist, a career musician from Creston, despite facing a misdemeanor charge of assault for allegedly body slamming a reporter on the eve of the Treasure State's widely followed special election. Jacobs persisted with his question.Gianforte's campaign says Jacobs entered the office without permission, shoved a recorder in the candidate's face, and asked badgering questions.Rep. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, offered perhaps the most forthright take on the political ramifications of the incident when he said of Gianforte: "I'm not sure whether it will hurt him or help him".What's more, Gianforte assaulted Jacobs in front of three witnesses.Gianforte's whereabouts weren't immediately known Thursday.In response to the assault and to Scanlon's statement, the Billings Gazette rescinded its endorsement of Gianforte, along with local newspapers the Missoulian and the Independent Record.The editorial board of the Billings Gazette, a CNN affiliate, retracted its enforcement of Gianforte, stating, "We believe that you cannot love America, love the Constitution, talk about the importance of a free press and then pummel a reporter".In November, Trump won the state by 20 points and a Democrat hasn't won the congressional seat for two decades. Jacobs works out of Washington, D.C., for the Guardian, a daily newspaper published in the United Kingdom.

But the theme of the election shifted Wednesday night when Jacobs walked into Gianforte's office as he was preparing for an interview with Fox News.

"I'm not condoning the body-slam", said O'Neill, who took part in the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.

Gianforte faces a $500 fine and six months in jail if convicted, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said. It was only a little over a year ago that Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged for assaulting a reporter at a campaign event.

Gootkin said Jacobs injuries did not meet the legal definition of felony assault.

Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault. Mr. Gianforte told Mr. Jacobs he would talk to him about the bill later and directed him to his campaign spokesman.

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The incident occurred as Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte about healthcare, according to an audio tape. Jacobs was asked to leave.

Jacobs' recording was aired during a Thursday segment on the "Today" show, the national morning show broadcast on local NBC affiliates like KECI. The statement continues: "Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face". Jacob grabbed Greg's wrist, spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.

"It's unfortunate", said that statement, "that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ". Up until the alleged assault, Gianforte was said to have had a slight lead in the polls in what is considered a predominately red state-it's been years since a democrat was elected to Congress from there and Donald Trump easily won the state in last year's presidential election.

Still, she said, the incident would not have changed her vote for Gianforte. Other names were written on the remaining ballots, according to the county's elections office. "The fact that they don't realize the difference between those two things, I think reveals why so many Americans despise the press". Despite the rebuke from Montana's media, Montana voters received robocalls from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence urging voters to back Gianforte.

Gianforte sitting in a Jeep.

Gianforte was expected to address supporters at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman Thursday night, possibly after the race was called in his favor. Stevens Institute of Technology has no direct knowledge about the incident beyond what has been reported and, as both a matter of principle and its status as a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization, Stevens does not take a position or offer comment on matters related to political campaigns.

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