GOP House hopeful Greg Gianforte charged with assault

GOP House hopeful Greg Gianforte charged with assault

Republican candidate for Montana's only U.S. House seat, Greg Gianforte, sits in a vehicle near a Discovery Drive building Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont.

One voter interviewed sympathized with Gianforte, saying a reporter getting in his face was disrespectful.

A statement from National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers, who oversees the House GOP's campaign arm, didn't go as far as Ryan's did.

(AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan, File).

Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, voted for Gianforte despite the assault charge, saying it was barely a factor in his decision.

Libertarian Mark Wicks had 6 percent of the vote with 9,795 votes.

Tech services multi-millionaire Greg Gianforte is charged with body-slamming a reporter who was covering him on Wednesday.

"NBC Montana takes pride in reporting only verifiable facts from independent, reliable sources, officials and documents, regardless of what is reported by other media outlets", anchor Laurel Staples explained to the 10 p.m. audience.

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell said that Trump has helped whip up "hostility" toward the press, while Joe Scarborough said a "straight line" can be drawn between Trump's anti-media rhetoric and the Gianforte incident.

"If Ann Coulter gets hit by a pie, I'm blaming everyone who has ever criticized her", he said sarcastically. Sinclair, which owns 173 outlets nationwide and is poised to add dozens more, has history of boosting Republican candidates.

In a firsthand account published on the network's website, a Fox reporter said that "Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him onto the ground behind him".

His spokesman said Gianforte did not oversee his portfolio on a day-to-day basis. While polls were open Thursday, the Republican candidate canceled television interviews and stayed out of sight.

In a statement Wednesday, Gianforte's campaign initially painted Jacobs as a "liberal" aggressor who accidentally sent himself tumbling to the ground after Gianforte grabbed Jacobs' phone and Jacobs grabbed Gianforte's wrist.

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Montana is an unorthodox state.

Referring to legitimate news coverage as "fake news" and the people who report it as the "lying media" and "the enemy of the American people", President Donald Trump is undermining one of the basic foundations of our republic, a free press.

Voters lean Republican and prefer iconoclasts along with limited government and their right to bear arms. The anti-Trump surge is formidable, but it hasn't swept any Dems into Congress as yet.

It would also give Democrats grassroots momentum heading into two special House elections for Republican-held seats next month, in Georgia and SC.

Whether Gianforte's widely reported altercation with Jacobs may influence the final outcome remains to be seen.

Jacobs began asking the candidate about the health care bill passed by the House when the crew and Jacobs say Gianforte slammed him to the floor, yelling "Get out of here!"

Gianforte is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court by June 7.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said it was investigating the allegation and planned to discuss the matter with local prosecutors on Thursday. The county prosecutor is reviewing the case. "Montanans said Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi can't call the shots".

"But I can understand how somebody could push somebody's buttons", she said.

"I hope you are safe".

Some voters didn't see the attack altering the dynamics of the contest, which has dominated state politics for weeks.

The question now is whether Republican base voters still show up at the polls Thursday for Gianforte and whether Quist's Democratic base is even more fired up to vote now.

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