Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for a House seat in Montana, was charged with assaulting a British journalist.
Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs said on his Twitter account that Gianforte broke his glasses and “body slammed” him.
Gianforte’s campaign, however, said that it was Jacobs who approached the candidate and grabbed him by the wrist but other reporters said that Jacobs didn’t show any physical aggression.
The incident happened on Wednesday, the night of an election for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Jacobs’ side of the incident
The Guardian disclosed a recording of the incident. Jacobs inquired the candidate for a response to a question and then crashing noises can be heard.
Gianforte then yells “I’m sick and tired of you guys” and tells the journalist to “get the hell out of here”.
At the time, Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna was present in the room with two other employees getting ready for a TV interview with Gianforte
Acuna noted that Jacobs went into the room, held a voice recorder to Gianforte’s face and asked a question about the Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.
The reporter then insisted on his question and wanted a response.
“Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him,” Acuna wrote.
“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!” she continued
“At no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte,” she added.
Gianforte’s side of the incident
The Republican candidate’s campaign claims that Jacobs entered the room without permission and “aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face and began asking badgering questions.”
Gianforte then “attempted to grab the phone,” before “Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground,” Shane Scanlon stated.
“It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behaviour from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ,” he remarked.