Montana Republican Congressional Candidate body slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. His campaign subsequently released the following statement which was in complete conflict with the violent sounding audio published by the reporter.
Statement from Republican candidate's campaign
The Greg Gianforte campaign responded to their candidate body slamming a Guardian reporter for asking about Trumpcare CBO score. Following is the release.
RELEASE: Gianforte Campaign Statement
BOZEMAN, Mont. - "Tonight. as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian's Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder. Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ." -Shane Scanlon, spokesperson for Greg for Montana.
It is clear that the statement the Gianforte campaign released is false. Listen to the video here which clearly indicates that the candidate likely assaulted Jacobs.
Greg Gianforte is running against Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist. According to the LA Times,
Gianforte has embraced the president, something he failed to do in 2016 as a candidate for governor, and has campaigned alongside Vice President Mike Pence, and twice with Trump’s son Donald Jr. “We have someone in office who’s doing exactly what he said he was going to do,” Gianforte told Montana Public Radio.
In the final hours of the race, Trump and Pence were both heard on robocalls urging Republicans to the polls. ...
Montana’s House seat was vacated when two-term Rep. Ryan Zinke left to run the Interior Department. The election was set for Thursday — unusual timing just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, which has both sides apprehensive — because Bullock wanted to fill the seat as soon as possible.
This election should have been an easy win for the Republican candidate. The polls are tightening and may be the cause for a frazzled Gianforte.
UPDATE: Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna has refuted the Gianforte campaign's account stating that the candidate grabbed the reported by the neck and body slammed him.