Republican congressional candidate 'body slams' reporter

2017-05-25 11:15
Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet at Lions Park, Montana. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet at Lions Park, Montana. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

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Washington -A Republican running for Congress in Montana "body slammed" a reporter for The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, breaking his glasses, the journalist said.

The altercation between Greg Gianforte and reporter Ben Jacobs took place at a campaign event at Gianforte's headquarters in the city of Bozeman, Montana, the Guardian said.

He is running for the state's only congressional seat in a special election set for Thursday.

"Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacobs tweeted.

The attack took place after Jacobs asked a question about health care.

Jacobs posted audio of the incident in which Gianforte appears to say "The last time you came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here!"

Others at the event corroborated the version of events.

"Ben walked into a room where a local TV crew was set up for an interview with Gianforte," BuzzFeed reporter Alexis Levinson tweeted. "All of a sudden I heard a giant crash and saw Ben's feet fly in the air as he hit the floor".

Gianforte's campaign issued a statement saying the incident took place when the candidate 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," the statement said.

"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 behaviour from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ."

On Jacobs's audio, Gianforte is not heard asking him to lower his microphone.

When Jacobs asks for the names of those present, saying he will go to the police, he is told, "you gotta leave".


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