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Montana GOP Congressional Candidate Charged for Assaulting Reporter

Montana GOP Congressional Candidate Charged for Assaulting Reporter

Charged for misdemeanor assault

There is simply no excuse for what happened in Montana last night.

Prior to a campaign rally held by Republican Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte for today’s special election, Gianforte allegedly roughed up Guardian political reporter, Ben Jacobs.

Immediately after the incident, Jacobs tweeted:

Gianforte’s camp immediately blamed Jacobs for starting the altercation, saying Jacobs was asked repeatedly to lower his recorder but refused:

Jacobs captured audio of the altercation on his phone, which he’d set to record for his interview with Gianforte. The audio corroborates Jacob’s account and contradicts that of the Gianforte campaign statement:

According to eyewitnesses, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck, threw him to the ground, and began punching him. Jacobs remained remarkably calm through it all. Witnesses also said Jacobs was not physically aggressive with Gianforte.

A Fox News crew was in the room with Gianforte and Jacobs and published their account:

During that conversation, another man — who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, “I’m sick and tired of this!”

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.

And then spoke to what happened:

Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, but not arrested.

Montana’s three largest newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte.

Before he lost his mind, Gianforte was up fourteen points. By most accounts, some 70% of Montana has already voted, so the impact this incident will have on today’s election will likely be minimal, unfortunately. Gianforte just made himself a bigger liability than the GOP needs right now, especially ahead of another hot special election in Georgia. Looking at the lasting implications of Gianforte’s alleged assault, everyone would be better off politically if he were to lose the special election. If he wins, the GOP is stuck with a physically violent Representative and a new narrative of violence, which CNN is already peddling. As I understand it, a misdemeanor is not severe enough to cost Gianforte his seat, should he win tonight.

Political ramifications aside, Gianforte’s actions are wholly unacceptable and indefensible.

There are far too many instances of late where reporters insist on making themselves the story, but that’s not what happened here. Jacobs was doing his job and by all accounts, certainly not baiting anyone for a violent encounter. Further, claims that Jacobs is a “hack” or a leftist, or somehow deserving otherwise are sad and disappointingly feeble. I know Jacobs to be perfectly decent human being. But even if he weren’t, assaulting someone for asking a question extralegal, super douchey, and I’ll reiterate — indefensible.

It is not possible to serve as a federal politician and be free from political reporters. If answering questions from a reporter is too much for Gianforte’s temperament to handle, perhaps he should find another profession.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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Anybody who is a politician by choice, there’s a good chance they’re also a psychopath (no matter what party).

    Tom Servo in reply to geoih. | May 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Maybe that makes me a psychopath too, since if this story is completely true, it just makes me like Gianforte even more. C’mon, who can say they haven’t ever bodyslammed someone to make a point? Okay, well maybe you haven’t.

Gianforte is probably going to win, and I think that’s for the best. I don’t condone what he’s alleged to have done, but the whole story hasn’t come out yet, and the what we know doesn’t make a lot of sense by itself.

    Immolate in reply to Immolate. | May 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Oh, and the whole “this is going to give the press something to talk about” angle is sadly outdated. They are 100% engaged in Trump political assassination. You can’t appease them. You can’t reason with them. You can only ignore them. Or body slam them, apparently.

healthguyfsu | May 25, 2017 at 11:53 am

Not everyone who was there saw this the same way.

Also, if he did grab the reporter by the neck with both hands and punched him in the face there would be a medical report to that effect….we’ll see what we get.

    inspectorudy in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Acunya, of FNC, has rescinded her original story and now says she didn’t mean that he grabbed him by the neck only that he put his hands on Jacob’s upper body. Since she is the only eyewitness so far, we can only imagine what she will un-recall next!

Odd. Somebody else has a different story to tell. I just posted this link on the other thread, but it is very relevant, here.

Eye witness to incident raises BS flag on the way the reporter described it. She says he shoved a device in the candidate’s face, the candidate grabbed it, and both fell to the floor.

I do not know who say this, and I don’t know whether the other “eye witnesses” saw this or not, but I have seen people very deliberately provoke others, and immediately lie about it. It’s a leftist political ploy. And, the reporters’ story just got better.

Trump is blamed in 3…2…

Smells like Michelle Field’s fake charges against Corey Lewandowski. Eventually video came out showing that Fields was a big fat liar and her fellow news reporter on the scene conspired to gin up the fake story.

Montana can either send a two-fisted Clint Eastwood cowboy to drain the swamp or an effeminate, Brokeback Mountain singing cowboy to join it. Is Montana turning soft? Has Montana cloned the Texan “don’t mess with Texas” posing while keeping borders open and losing every major city to the liberals?

This incident would have solidified MY vote for Gianforte. He decked right guy. Jacobs was high-jacking the Q&A AGAIN rather than allow for an orderly process. This is the GUARDIAN! From ENGLAND! Think of them as a foreign version of “The View”!

Is that how you squishy NeverTrumpers fight? That’s why you have permanently lost the conservative vote. There is no tomorrow for you guys.

The sad truth is that if the politician was a Democrat and the reporter someone from Breitbart, the narrative being sold would be 180 degrees opposite.

Like it or not, the Left are in a position of privilege and power, to use the Left’s terminology, over media consumption and optics. A Democrat could get away with this even if it were bad; a Republican couldn’t, even if it were 100% a lie.

Some fools see thugs in the streets in Berkeley and Portland and think that they can get away with violence, even in self-defense, if they just stop “playing nice” or “make excuses” by simply putting “will to power”. To reiterate, such individuals are fools.

Pro-tip: GOP politicians should wear body cameras when in the presence of reporters or where reporters might track you down. Also, have an assistant who can intervene against the reporter if necessary, who is willing to fall on their sword, so as to speak.

And now Paul Ryan is calling on Gianforte to apologize. Joe Wilson redux. The Stupid Party keeps getting more and more stupid.

We need to find a new word because stupid just doesn’t describe it anymore. Maybe Republican can be that new word.

And to add to fuel to the media’s “GOP are all violence NAZI fascists” schtick:

“Murder of Black Student by ‘Alt-Reich’ Suspect”

Between this, Gianforte, Antifa, and the threats/violence against GOP Congressmen, I really do think that we are setting up for a replay of Weimar-era Germany…

This will not end well.

Jacobs was doing his job and by all accounts, certainly not baiting anyone for a violent encounter.

“All accounts” are from other “journalists”. They have a vested interest in just how this story plays out.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that, from this crowd which was specifically convened to cover “the news”, no video has yet surfaced. Video cameras are everywhere … except, apparently, here.

Gianforte’s actions are wholly unacceptable and indefensible.

And that’s because you have the perspective of a loser. Elections are not about what’s unacceptable and indefensible, they’re about votes. Nothing else. We always claim to want a politician who “fights”. Then when one appears, some funk out and call it “unacceptable”. In daily life, certainly. But in some places—places which are not daily life—we not only accept fighting, we demand it. Combat. Inside a boxing or MMA ring. And politics. You don’t defeat the forces of evil by sitting back and being polite; and the forces of evil are all those antifas attacking imaginary “fascists”, the minions of Hillary’s Crime Family Inc., and smarmy “journalists” from socialist European “newspapers.”

Gianforte just put himself on the map. He’s in a good position … as long as he doesn’t follow advice from the likes of Ryan, and start apologizing. Apologize for busting the guy’s glasses … and stop there.

    I agree….it seems odd that a Fox “news crew” witnessed this Montana Death Match….but there’s no video????

    What kind of “news hound” doesn’t whip out the video cam when they see something about to go down???

    Also, body slam implies a certain amount of athleticism (I doubt these guys are athletes)
    They probably wrestled around, tripped and fell over!

    I’d love to see the “Loser Leaves Town” re-match though…

Why is a reporter from the Guardian even there? I do not believe first hand accounts by reporters b/c regardless of who they work for, they all have the same mindset. Get the story!

After the hit-job ( that failed ) Michelle Fields’ murderous assault, only proved ridiculously false by video tape, I don’t give any credence to ” I was assaulted!” by reporters. They purposely harass their targets and this Guardian reporter has an axe to grind. Where is it written that reporters are the one species on earth that have the right to get in someones’ face and badger them? They can ignore warnings? They get to invade space and are totes blameless if target reacts? I hope Glanforte wins by even great numbers.

Montana Assault Witness Changes Story, Says No Neck Grab

Reporter says firsthand account misstated key aspect of Gianforte incident

    tom swift in reply to The Political Hat. | May 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Standard Operating Procedure in modern “journalism”. Plant a fake story—the more apparently outrageous the better—then bluster a bit when challenged, and finally backpedal. Meme planted, mission accomplished; now use newly-established notoriety to move in on another victim.

    Sure, it’s scurrilous; but it works.

Wow. This article is dripping with virtue signalling. We don’t even know the facts yet and we are supposed to be appalled by Gianforte’s actions? The Cuck of the House is already calling for an apology. Screw him.

The left has established the rules and rule #1 is violence is OK when you are on the ‘right’ side. Remember ‘punch a Nazi’? We on the right know the real Nazi’s are on the left. They punch us. We punch back harder.

If the left wants someone to blame, instead of bringing up President Trump’s attitude towards the media, perhaps they should look in a mirror.

Everyone needs to remember that this is a reporter from the Guardian, not an actual human being.

The first thing I thought of was figuring out what had happened. In particular what video of the incident there was and why Jacob’s didn’t have the video on, only sound.

The second thing I thought of was Michelle Fields, including the verification of a reporter on scene.

The third thing I thought of was Charles Sumner and that violence is not excluded from politics. Add in Hamilton/Burr.

So then what are the realities of the incident. At worst if everything the reporter are saying is true, then this is an example of what Douglas said during a speech of Sumner’s “that damn fool Sumner is going to get himself shot by another damn fool”. Hopefully the guy gets elected and then in one and a half years people throw him out for another Republican.

But that’s only the worst. What I really want hear is the testimony of the security guards. Reporters are generally pacifists in the sense of “I would rather get beaten to death then engage in any sort of violence,even to protest myself”.
Security guards on the hand are used to a degree of violence.

In my martial arts days, when I started scoring sparring matches I discovered at first I couldn’t tell what happened, but after a while I got used to the action and could tell you exactly what happened. Reporters are generally as useless as witnesses whereas the guards are experienced enough to be more reliable as witnesses.

Finally, I would like to see pictures of the Jacobs after the incident and compare them to George Zimmerman. ( Amazing isn’t it, how now that reporters aren’t hounding him, he doesn’t seem to be doing all that much violence? )

Waiting for the update admitting Fox “reporter” has recanted. #FAKENEWS

inspectorudy | May 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm

I listened to Rush today and everyone from Montana who called in was on their way to vote and they all were going to vote for the “Body Slammer”. This guy will be a slam dunk, maybe I should have left off the slam part, because Montana has real men living there.

    rdmdawg in reply to inspectorudy. | May 25, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I can’t think of a better way to ensure your re-election nowadays than to beat up a reporter. Hell, I want a turn at this asshole.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | May 25, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I got punched in the face once BY A FRIEND. A Sioux Indian Army buddy. We’d been teasing him. Calling him “colonel” because he’d been promoted that day. He was very soft spoken and after a while he got sick of the colonel thing and asked us to stop. And we did.

Then when we got outside the bar I popped off and said something like “lead the way home colonel.” With no warning he punched me right below my left eye. So hard I hit the sidewalk. He starts saying “I told you not to call me colonel any more!”. After I picked myself up I did not call him colonel ever again.

Maybe when this guy tells the reporter he doesn’t want to talk to him, he means it. Like my friend meant it when he said he didn’t want to be called colonel any more. Next time, he’ll remove the recording device out of his face when told to do so.

I’m not overly concerned as long as the reporter wasn’t really hurt. Charge him with the misdemeanor and move on. At least the guy has some testosterone and hasn’t been completely emasculated and feminized yet.

Broke his glasses? Poor baby. I am a mom of 2 teenage boys and we as a country freak out and bring in the police for things that aren’t worthy. If someone pushes, odds are the other guy started it. We have got to tone down our horror over these things. If this were my boys they’d both need to apologize and then MOVE on!!! Good grief we are a pathetic society.

Enough, Gianforte should have leveled the guy to really make it worthwhile as a story.
Meanwhile, democrat drives drunk, hits cop, curses out hospital employees and you aren’t writing about it?
Are you just rehashers now? Just another part of the msm? You’re losing your way from when LI started.

Mark Wicklund, a former Macon County Board member and Democratic candidate for the 13th District U.S. House seat,

is facing charges after police said he crashed a vehicle while driving under the influence and subsequently struck an officer at the hospital.

He also faces a preliminary charge of aggravated battery against a police officer,
At the hospital, “Mark was cussing, screaming and shouting profanities towards officers and medical staff,” Kaufman wrote, adding that he appeared to be “heavily intoxicated, with bloodshot, glassy eyes.”

Wicklund refused to sit down on a bed, as he repeatedly said “that he had political connections and was leaving” the hospital, Kaufman wrote.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 25, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Sounds like a load of fake news…..

Also, if you expect me to care about a GOP guy (probably not) assaulting a reporter as Dems are tearing up our country, you are insane.

Sean Penn is looking more sane.

ScottTheEngineer | May 27, 2017 at 7:03 am

Allegedly, an unnamed source is saying Gianforte has been having secret meetings with Nikolai Volkoff.

I should apply for a job at the New York Times.