Scroll To Top
Politicians

Montana GOP Congressional Candidate Accused of Assaulting Reporter

Greg Gianforte
Greg Gianforte

Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs says Greg Gianforte body-slammed him because he didn't like a question.

trudestress

Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in a tight race in Thursday's special election for Montana's sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, lost his temper today with a reporter, who says Gianforte body-slammed him to the floor and broke his glasses.

Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, shared audio of the encounter online. It occurred at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman; a television news crew was setting up for an interview with the candidate when Jacobs walked in from another room and began to ask a question about the health care legislation recently passed by the House.

"I decided there was no harm in asking one question, and the worst thing that could happen was they would tell me to go to hell," Jacobs told another Guardian reporter in an account published late this afternoon.

But, according to Jacobs, something worse happened. The audio recording (listen below) features the sound of a crash and Gianforte saying, "I'm sick and tired of you guys. The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here." When Jacobs protested that Gianforte body-slammed him and broke his glasses, Gianforte repeated, "Get the hell out of here."

Jacobs was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and he reported the incident to police. Shane Scanlon, a spokesman for Gianforte, emailed the Bozeman Daily Chronicle a statement that essentially blames it on Jacobs.

"Tonight, as Greg 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," Scanlon 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 behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ."

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office is investigating the matter and will release a report later, Sheriff Brian Gootkin told the Chronicle.

Gianforte is running against Democrat Rob Quist in the special election to replace Ryan Zinke, a Republican who gave up his House seat to become secretary of the Interior under Donald Trump -- and many observers have called the election a referendum on Trump's agenda. Gianforte, a businessman who made millions in technology, is leading Quist, a musician, in polls, but Quist has been gaining recently. Libertarian Mark L. Wicks, a rancher, could pull votes from either. Gianforte ran for governor last year and lost to incumbent Steve Bullock, a Democrat.

trudestress
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.