Fox News Crew Backs Up Guardian Reporter's Story

On the eve of Montana's special House election, Republican nominee Greg Gianforte got into a physical altercation with a reporter from The Guardian newspaper - an incredibly odd and potentially damaging last-minute swerve in a race that has, of late, attracted considerable national attention and money.

The Guardian posted audio of the exchange between Jacobs and Gianforte, which appeared to back up the reporter's account.

"Ben walked into a room where a local TV crew was set up for an interview with Gianforte", BuzzFeed reporter Alexis Levinson tweeted.

The Gallatin County sheriff's office said Wednesday evening that it was "currently investigating allegations of an assault involving Greg Gianforte".

The results were a personal repudiation of Gianforte, said Scott Sales, the Republican leader of the state Senate, and "nothing's changed since then".

At a news conference, Sheriff Brian Gootkin said that witnesses were still being interviewed, and that four other people had been present for the incident. The election is Thursday. "Someone who is not as strongly attached to a candidate, they might swing".

Gianforte moved to Montana 24 years ago from Pennsylvania, starting a software company that Oracle purchased in 2011 for $1.5 billion.

The Quist race suggests a nightmare scenario may be unfolding for Republicans as they try to protect their majority in the House of Representatives in the 2018 mid-term elections: conservative strongholds may prove more hard - and expensive - for the party to hold in the wake of Trump assuming power. It's unclear if there is any additional audio or video of the incident. We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk about restaurants and Bozeman.

"Speak with Shane, please", Gianforte replied. Gianforte told him he would get to him later.

"Sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte can be heard saying. "The last time you came here you did the same thing".

At one point Gianforte asks, "Are you with The Guardian?". "You just broke my glasses".

Gianforte: "The last guy did the same damn thing".

"You just broke my glasses", Jacobs is heard saying.

"Get the hell out of here", Gianforte yells. "I'm so exhausted of it".

When Jacobs says that there won't be time, Gianforte says "Just-" and there is a crashing sound.

But Gianforte's campaign said Jacobs acted aggressively toward the candidate, shoved a recorder into his face, grabbed him by the wrist and pulled them both to the ground.

Later, to the Guardian, Jacobs said he was in a side room with local news outlets and "decided there was no harm in asking one question, and the worst thing that could happen was they would tell [him] to go to hell". "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined", reads the statement, in part.

"Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face", Scanlon said.

It was at that point, Acuna said, "Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him". "It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ".

Gianforte spoke individually with supporters before giving his stump speech.

Mr Gianforte, who is running for Montana's sole congressional seat, allegedly grabbed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs and threw him into the ground during a discussion about healthcare.

Spending looks likely to reach $18 million in the fast moving, 85-day shootout, a record for the seat and double what was spent in the 2016 race.

Campaign records show Gootkin donated $250 to Gianforte's campaign on March 23. No charges were filed, the Sheriff's Office said, since it did not have all the information.

Trump won the Big Sky State last fall by 20 percentage points, and Democrats haven't managed to snag the state's lone House seat in nearly 20 years. Under persistent questioning for more details about his position on refugee vetting and resettlement, Gianforte raised his voice, threw his phone down and repeatedly pounded the table. He says "I'm ready".

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