Republican Candidate Greg Gianforte 'Body-Slams' Guardian Reporter
Audio obtained of Greg Gianforte body-slamming a mainstream media reporter on the eve of a special election to fill a congressional seat vacated by a member of the Trump administration:
The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”
Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 24, 2017
Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.
There was a local TV crew there when Gianforte body slammed me. Audio is posting soon at @GuardianUS— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 24, 2017
“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”
Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. Gianforte’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Audio of the abortive interview recorded by Jacobs captures the altercation, and appears to reference previous questioning from another Guardian reporter. “I’m sick and tired of you guys,” Gianforte said. “The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”
“Yes! You just broke my glasses,” Jacobs replied.
“The last guy did the same damn thing,” Gianforte said.
“You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacob said.
“Get the hell out of here,” Gianforte yelled.
The altercation took place at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. Gianforte was in a side room with a local television news crew when Jacobs attempted to ask his question, according to Jacobs.
“I decided there was no harm in asking one question, and the worst thing that could happen was they would tell me to go to hell,” Jacobs said.