U.S. candidate urged to apologise after alleged attack on reporter

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26 May, 2017

The case is now in the hands of the Gallatin County attorney for prosecution. Reporters asked why Gianforte had not been detained, and the sheriff said his deputies "got busy with the witnesses and the victim", and Gianforte left. He sometimes encounters Gianforte at church, social events and GOP functions.

Results are not expected in the election until late Thursday night at the earliest.

Gootkin said the contribution had nothing to do with his duties as sheriff. Gianforte yells, “The last guy who came here did the same thing, ” and a shaken-sounded Jacobs tells the candidate he just body-slammed him. A misdemeanor assault citation was later issued because there was enough probable cause for the charge.

He said he trusted that investigators had made the right decision on how to handle the case. He took to calling Thursday's election a referendum on the Trump administration and portrayed Quist as an "out of touch liberal" in a state that voted strongly for Trump. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. Twice it seemed someone picked up then immediately hung up. A sign on a gate thanked people for not trespassing at Gianfortes home.

Gianforte has backed out of at least one planned television appearance.

The state's Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, accused the candidate of lying about what happened. Jake Tapper said on CNN's "The Lead".

Ben Jacobs had been trying to question Gianforte about a new Congressional Budget Office analysis of the House health care bill.

Nothing illustrates this better than Gianforte's actions in the immediate wake of his alleged attack on Jacobs. Behave. That was outrageous, " Pelosi said. "Behave. That was outrageous".

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said Gianforte should apologize, while other Republican lawmakers have called the incident "out of character".

Ryan says "that's wrong and should not happen".

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Congressman Steve Stivers, also weighed in Thursday.

In a bygone era, any such assault - much less an assault on a reporter - would have been political suicide.

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And while Gianforte was hesitant to embrace then-candidate Trump during that contest, he has been closely embracing the president this go-round, co-opting his familiar "drain the swamp" phrase and pledging to go to Washington to work with the president.

Montana has just over 699,000 registered voters.

Several politicians suggested that Gianforte may have even been justified in attacking a reporter. "You ask a question, I'm going to strangle you?"

A few lawmakers did comment. "Unless the reporter deserved it", Republican California Rep. Duncan Hunter told the AP. "Unless the reporter deserved it". "Today's special election is bigger than any one person; it's about the views of all Montanans".

Acuna disputed the statement.

Jacobs told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he never touched Gianforte.

"We'll talk to you about that later", Mr Gianforte says on the recording, referring Mr Jacobs to a spokesman.

Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. Gianforte's campaign blamed Jacobs, saying the reporter was being aggressive and grabbed Gianforte. The incident has drawn extra attention to the race to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, considered a bellwether, in its final hours.

Greg Gianforte is running in a May 25 special election to fill Montana's single congressional seat.

Greg Gianforte was cited for grabbing a reporter by the throat and throwing him to the ground in his campaign office Wednesday night. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined.

Jacobs' matter, unfortunately, isn't the only recent incident in which journalists have been interfered with physically while doing their jobs.

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


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